The following turf types are listed from the most to the least drought tolerant:
Buffalo grass is a native prairie grass which reaches a maximum height of 6 inches and can be left unmown. Buffalo grass generally requires full sun, but some of the newer varieties such as Prairie and 609 Buffalograss have improved shade tolerance (as little as 4 hours of sun per day). These varieties are available as sod, and exhibit a darker green color.
Bermuda grass is the most commonly used drought-tolerant grass in Texas. It is available as seed or sod and requires full sun. Tifway and Texturf 10 varieties have improved qualities.
Zoysia grass is a slow-growing grass for full sun to partial shade. It is available as sod. Belair or Myer Z-52 are good varieties for residential use. Zoysia may have special mowing needs, such as a reel-type mower.
St. Augustine grass is best for use in shady spots. It has poor drought and freeze tolerance. It is available only as sod, and if grown in full sun has the highest water needs of the grasses listed here.