Development of greener cultivars of buffalograss
Increased use of buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] has been limited due to the lack of a dark green color. Currently there are few cultivars of buffalograss available which have a dark green color. During 1994 and 1995 a germplasm collection of 273 native accessions of buffalograss were collected and brought back to Lubbock, Texas. In 1995, the germplasm collection was established at the Texas Tech University Plant Stress Laboratory on an Amarillo fine sandy loam soil (fine-loamy, mixed thermic Aridic Paleustalf). Accessions were evaluated for induction of fall dormancy and spring greenup.
Induction of fall dormancy was evaluated using a Minolta SPAD-502 chlorophyll meter and by visual ratings over four dates in the fall of 1995. Spring greenup was evaluated using the same parmeters over four dates in the spring of 1996. Seven cultivars of buffalograss were used as checks in this study. Significant differences were observed for both SPAD chlorophyll measurements and visual ratings at all four dates for induction of fall dormancy and spring greenup. Based on these data, accessions were selected to develop improved cultivars of buffalograss which have a darker green color, delayed induction of fall dormancy and green up earHer in the spring.