Sir Walter


'Sir Walter' originated from a Variant plant discovered among ‘Shademaster’ on the breeder’s turf farm in the lower Hunter Valley (NSW). 'Sir Walter' is protected by a PBR (Plant Breeders Rights) and cannot be grown or sold commercially without a licence. This PBR was granted in 1998. 'Sir Walter' is the most widely available buffalo cultivar, being grown on farms in all areas of Australia

Leaf Width - 7.36mm length - 23.9mm

'Sir Walter' performed well is most of the testing conducted in the HAL project, and would be a good choice for someone looking for a all round lawn. the average Leaf Width is 7.36mm and has an average leaf length of 23.9mm.

During the HAL Project various tests were conducted for Quality, Colour and Thatch ratings. 'Sir Walter' performed very well in these results. Scoring first place for Quality averaged across the test sites with a score of 72 from 100. Scoring 67.5 from 100 in the colour testing overall also placed it 1st for colour ratings.

'Sir Walter' showed the highest thatch levels when compared to other varieties but this figure was less than 2% difference from the lowest score. most of the buffalos showed similar levels of thatch. 'Sir Walter' average thatch levels were only 6% more than Wintergreen couch. Thatching is a normal part of buffalo cultivars and if it becomes a problem for the consumer, usually a short mow in the spring will remove excess thatch and dead roots and keep a less spongy lawn for the rest of the year.

Sir Walter presented reasonable disease tolerance being unaffected by a "Curvularia" species of fungus and showing only small damage by Gaeumannomyces wongoonoo as can be seen from the images here...

Individual Tests

Shade Test:

Sir Walter is a well known buffalo readily available in most parts of Australia, Sir Walter showed above average growth in all tests and maintained acceptable quality in all tests although coming in around the middle for full sun and 30% tests Sir Walter performed well in the 50% and 70% shade tests and is worth consideration for shaded areas.

Grams per m2 Ranking Average of all cultivars
Full Sun 3.45 3 2.98
30% Shade 3.16 4 2.87
50% Shade 2.94 2 2.25
70% Shade 2.13 =2 1.73

Drought Tolerance

Sir Walter was a good performer in the drought test coming in 2nd for the 33% net replacement test. Sir Walter maintained 91% growth in the 50% test and for the majority of the 98 day test Sir Walter maintained the normal colour, dropping to 105 for a few weeks then returning to 110. for the 33% replacement test Sir Walter showed a 54% growth rate and kept a Hue of just above 90.

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

Wear Test

Sir Walter performed well in the wear trial, having 0% bare ground in this test until week 8, where heavy rain combined with the wear simulator cause 7.1% bare ground to show, but Sir Walter showed reasonable growth and recovered well dropping back to 2.5% by the next week. If wear is a primary concern, for this cultivar it would be best to keep traffic to a minimum during wet periods, if this is done Sir Walter will perform very well for the home lawn situation.

Cultivar Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 8 Week 9 Week 11 Week 13
Sir Walter 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 7.1% 2.5% 3.7% 2.5%

Winter Colour

With a great colour in both winter and summer, Sir Walter is a good choice for the cold climates, shoing a Hue of 114 during summer and 106 in the winter this is only an 8% loss in colour. Sir Walter would be evergreen in most parts of Australia.


Matilda Turf Star Rating

Detailed Star Rating

ShadeShade - 4 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