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Is Bermuda Grass Right For You?

Oct 31, 2012 | Turfgrass Products

Bermuda Grass is the most common name for the Cynodon dactylon grass.  This grass is native to north and east Africa, Asia, Australia, and southern Europe.  From there, it became an invasive species in Bermuda, and then came to North America, where the name Bermuda Grass stuck.  In other parts of the world, it is also called dubo, dog’s tooth grass, Bahama grass, devil’s grass, couch grass, or scutch grass.  The natural version of Bermuda grass is known for its grey-green colored blades with rough edges and stems that are slightly flattened and tinged purple in color.  It provided dense mats of grass that thrive in direct sunlight and warm temperatures, as its optimal growth temperature was between 75 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit.

The two major types of bermudagrass used in the Central Florida area are Celebration Bermuda Grass and Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass.  Celebration Bermudagrass is a mutation of the hybrid cultivator of Bermuda, Cynodon dactylon.  This hybrid was chosen because it has a beautiful blue-green color, and is aestetically pleasing.  But it also has low growing habit, excellent drought tolerance and adaptability to light-moderate shade, making it easy to take care of.

It requires less mowing than other types of bermudagrass, because it has tough runners, rhizomes, and deep roots.  These provide excellent sod strength and wearability.  Originally distributed and developed by renowned turfgrass breader Rod Riley, it quickly became a favorite of landscapers, golf course designers, sportsturf manager, and homeowners because it is so versatile in different applications.

While research is still going on at universities looking at its drought tolerance levels, Celebration Bermudagrass is the first bermudagrass that has shown improved tolerance compared to other sportsturf grasses.  It has also been involved in many comparative studies of bermudagrass, including the 2002 National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) trials, and results are very promising.