Sapphire is a Seedling derived from ‘Sir Walter’ and is protected by a PBR (Plant Breeders Rights). Sapphire cannot be grown or sold commercially without a licence. This PBR was granted in 2003

Sapphire put in a reasonable performance during HAL project, Sapphire is often sold as a fine leaf buffalo, From the HAL report the average Leaf Width is 5.81mm which is very close to the average of all buffalo's reviewed here. Sapphire also has an average leaf length of 14.2mm.

During the HAL Project various tests were conducted for Quality, Colour and Thatch ratings. Sapphire performed well in most tests. Sapphire came equal last for Quality averaged across the test sites with a score of 69 from 100 (1st place score was 72). Also scoring 64 from 100 in the colour testing overall also placed it 2nd last from buffalos reviewed here for colour.

Sapphire showed average thatch levels when compared to other varieties, most of the buffalos showed similar levels of thatch only varying slightly by a few %. Sapphire's average thatch levels were only 3% more than Wintergreen couch.

With average Disease Tolerance, sapphire would be best suited to drier environments where disease is not prevalent. being the 2nd worst affected by "Gaeumannomyces wongoonoo"as can be seen from the images Here...

Based on the HAL results Sapphire would not be recommended for areas of traffic, having recorded the most damage in the wear trials. Sapphire performed well in high shade, showing some growth where other varieties had stopped. If water usage is your major concern some other varieties might be worth a look. Sapphire held its colour well in the cooler months only loosing 6% colour

Individual Tests

Shade Test:

Sapphire Buffalo performed well in the shade growth tests with results above average for this buffalo. Coming 2nd in the rankings for full sun and 30% shade, Sapphire maintained acceptable quality in the 50% and 70% shade tests, with above average growth in all tests.

Grams per m2 Ranking Average of all cultivars
Full Sun 3.64 2 2.98
30% Shade 3.51 2 2.87
50% Shade 2.33 5 2.25
70% Shade 2.13 =2 1.73

Drought Tolerance

Sapphire Buffalo continued at 82% of growth during the 50% net evaporation replacement test, this performance was slightly above most other cultivars tested, Sapphire also managed 47% growth during the 33% replacement test. During the recovery period Sapphire was slow to start growing at the control rate. Sapphire maintained around 100 Hue during the 50% test which is slightly less than the control which was at 110, as with most cultivars Sapphire dropped to around 90 for the duration of the 33% test.

(Hue Angles - 130=Green/blue 110=green 100=light green, 90= green/yellow, 80-yellow)

Wear Test

Sapphire Buffalo performed the worst in this test from the cultivars reviewed here, However Sapphire displayed reasonable wear tolerance in lighter traffic areas. If wear is a primary concern to your lawn, you might do better to look at the other varieties reviewed here.

Cultivar Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 8 Week 9 Week 11 Week 13
Sapphire 1.3% 1.3% 2.5% 2.5% 3.0% 8.8% 12.5% 12.5% 6.2%

Winter Colour

Sapphire had great results in this test, losing only 6% colour during the cold months, Sapphire has an average of 111 Hue angle in the winter, This hue would still look green to the naked eye and really no noticeable colour loss should be seen. Sapphire would be an evergreen Buffalo for most parts of Australia


Matilda Turf Star Rating

Detailed Star Rating

ShadeShade - 5 Stars

WearWear - 4 Stars

Maintenance /
MowingMaintenance - 4 Stars

Drought ToleranceDrought Tolerance - 3 Stars

Winter ColourWinter Colour - 4 Stars

AestheticsAesthetics - 3.5 Stars

Value for MoneyValue for Money - 4 Stars

Thatch (Sponginess)Sponginess - 2 Stars

Overall RatingGeneral Toughness - 4 Stars