A native to the North American plains, buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides) is a good warm season candidate for problem lawns. It's very drought-tolerant and prefers dry conditions. It will stand up to high heat and typically requires only occasional mowing and little or no fertilizing. Buffalo grass is an effective lawn grass for arid locations. It's also a good plant for problem spots that are hard to access, like steep slopes or behind outbuildings, or that experience regular foot traffic, like tree lawns.
No grass variety comes without some drawbacks. With buffalo grass, the biggest downside to planting it in your lawn is that it isn't the most beautiful grass around. It can turn brown in weather extremes and doesn't have that emerald green color most people associate with a superior lawn. Newer cultivars, cultivated strains of basic stock, are greener and more attractive than the buffalo grass the early settlers used to build their sod houses.
On the next page, let's look at carpet grass, another useful grass for problem areas.