Stenotaphrum, Buffalo Grass, Charleston Grass, St. Augustine Grass

Stenotaphrum secundatum

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stenotaphrum (sten-oh-TAF-rum) (Info)
Species: secundatum (see-kun-DAY-tum) (Info)



Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo


Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Blooms all year


Grown for foliage



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama

Saraland, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Bartow, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Denham Springs, Louisiana

Metairie, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Vacherie, Louisiana

Charleston, South Carolina (2 reports)

Conway, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Blanket, Texas

Clute, Texas

Houston, Texas

Mcallen, Texas

Mission, Texas (2 reports)

Richmond, Texas

Roma, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 26, 2015, DreamOfSpring from Charleston, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is my favorite grass for my area (Charleston, SC). In fact, in SC this grass is known as Charleston Grass. It grows quickly and tolerates considerable neglect and abuse. Just a couple dozen cuttings will quickly cover an entire yard with a thick, lush, cool, blue-green carpet, the kind you will want to walk through with bare feet in summer.

The only downside is that it requires weekly mowing just because it grows so quickly. While I much prefer St Augustine, in my yard I have centipede which grows so slowly it only needs to be mowed 2x/month; centipede is more or less required in my community. But I did plant St Augustine in a few difficult areas of my backyard, areas where centipede refused to grow, areas now covered in a lavish carpet of St Augustine. Love this grass... read more


On Sep 3, 2013, hypocondro from houston,
United States wrote:

Hi I actually have a question about how I could remove all the st. Augustine grass from my lawn in order to replace it with native grasses?
I dont want to use a herbacide because they are designed to kill weeds, whereas in my case the st. Augustine grass are the weeds. Ive just been ripping it out in patches and its been very hard on my hands and back. Also it grows back very quickly. I've thought of burning off the areas ive already pulled but I'm sure theres a law against it where I live and since it grows rhizomously I'm not sure fire would be effective. Any tips would be great, like a natural herbacide specific to saint augustine grass?


On Aug 30, 2013, Phellos from Port Vincent, LA wrote:

This is one of the only plants, along with bahia grass, that I completely dislike. It constantly invades any and every space available with thick spongy mats, sometimes a foot high, with impenetrable grass. I struggle to remove it from gardens and it constantly tries to invade the area that I bared, covered with a layer of gravel, then soil to grow native prairie grasses. It also leeches nutrients from the soil. Areas in my backyard that used to have it before it was shaded out are all gray dusty rocky soils that stay dry and compacted all Summer and become a sloppy muck, sometimes a foot deep during the rainy months of Winter. The areas are completely bare and all attempts to cultivate them with topsoil, mulch, leaves, pea gravel, sand, etc. have failed. I would much rather somethin... read more


On May 19, 2007, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Most popular lawn grass for the gulf coast. It is very lush and thick when mowed high, but tends to need dethatching fairly often. It also performs well in the shade. I have noticed brown patches, but I think the fault lies with grubs.


On Oct 14, 2005, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

It is the most common lawn grass grown in Richmond. Prone to brown patch. Would rate it positive because it's lush and thick, but the yearly brown patch makes the yard look ugly and unkempt.


On Sep 24, 2005, Marylyn_TX from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

It's the most common lawn grass in Houston. Prone to brown patch.


On Jul 11, 2005, zancada from Mission, TX wrote:

When wanted, this grass makes a beautiful, thick, hardy lawn covering. Drought and heat tolerant. When unwanted, it is difficult to kill.