Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare)
"The rapid spread of buffelgrass through the Sonoran Desert rivals climate change and water scarcity as our region's most pressing environmental issue." - Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Buffelgrass was brought here from Africa in the 1930s for soil erosion control and livestock forage. Although at first it might have seemed like a great, it lacks the natural insects, diseases and other organisms to help keep this grass in check, and in some areas it has spread like wildfire, much to the detriment of our native plants and animals.
It creates a heavy, continuous layer of fuel that can result in fast-moving, damaging wildfires. These fires kill native plants, while buffelgrass, is comfortable in fire, like the plains of Africa where it thrives! With or without fire, this invasive grass is out-competing native plants and extinguishing food sources for local wildlife like desert tortoises. Help us fight back!
But let's remember folks, there are no inherently bad plants, just plants in the wrong place! Learn more at www.buffelgrass.org.
There's so much blue! It is hard to unsee it, so join the next volunteer day and help us remove some buffelgrass.
In this video Saguaro National Park teamed up with Tucson Water and University of Arizona researcher, Chris McDonald, to conduct a 160-acre prescribed burn on City of Tucson land. Buffelgrass peak fire temperatures were 1600F!