By Katrina Layt
This is what the tip of an old style scratchy Buffalo grass leaf looks like. These barbs you can see are what give you that scratchy feel on the old style Buffalo. What we can learn from these photos is that certain Buffalo types may not be as soft as they claim.
With real soft leaf Buffalo grass, the tip of the leaf shouldn’t be similar to this old scratchy Buffalo.
One new Australian variety (pictured above) claims to be “soft leaf” when in reality it is just as bad as the old style.
What makes all the difference (and the reason these barbs are much more irritating than soft leaf Buffalo) is the arrangement of the barbs. As you can see (above) they’re staggered like sharks teeth, unlike soft leaf Buffalo whose barbs are more flattened and in line.
Even halfway down the leaf you can still see the scratchy barbs on these two varieties, (Below) although they aren’t as severe.
A true soft leaf Buffalo looks like the two varieties (below), Sapphire and Palmetto. The tip of the leaf still has some barbs, although they are much smaller and aren’t staggered.
Sapphire Buffalo – Top of leaf (Above)
Palmetto Buffalo Top of leaf (Above)
Halfway down the leaf there are no barbs at all! This is what makes a true soft leaf Buffalo.
Sapphire Buffalo – half way down the leaf (Above)
Palmetto Buffalo – half way down the leaf (Above)
You won’t need to find a microscopic photographer to test out each grass that claims to be a soft leaf Buffalo (unless you want some more evidence). You can simply feel the difference by going to your local turf farm and looking at their sample plots.
Don’t just take our word for it, or anyone else’s for that matter. Test it out yourself by feeling the turf.