turfgrass

Warm-season grasses

There are seven major genera of warm-season turfgrasses and four less commonly used genera.  For each genus the species are listed below by scientific name followed by the English common name in parentheses. The scientific name of plants is almost always a binomial with two parts, a generic name which is always capitalized followed by a specific epithet which is never capitalized, governed by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Italicization of scientific names is purely a typographic convention to indicate the non-English nature of the name, and is not required. English common names of true grasses (species of Poaceae), when combined with the group name “grass,” are written in a compound word without a hyphen (Kartesz and Thieret, 1991). Common names are capitalized only when derived from proper nouns such as surnames and place names, and canonizations.  The genera and their species are:

Axonopus spp. (carpetgrasses): Axonopus affinis (common carpetgrass), Axonopus compressus (tropical carpetgrass)

Buchloe dactyloides (buffalograss)

Cynodon spp. (bermudagrasses, couch): Cynodon dactylon (common bermudagrass), Cynodon transvaalensis (African bermudagrass), Cynodon magennissii (hybrid bermudagrass)

Eremochloa ophiuroides (centipedegrass)

Paspalum spp: Paspalum notatum (bahiagrass), Paspalum vaginatum (seashore paspalum, saltene in Australia)

Stenotaphrum secundatum (St. Augustinegrass, buffalograss in Australia and Republic of South Africa)

Zoysia spp. (zoysiagrasses): Zoysia japonica (Japanese zoysiagrass), Zoysia matrella (Manilagrass), Zoysia tenuifolia (Korean templegrass)

Additionally (there are four other warm-season grasses in different genera: Bothriochloa pertusa (Seymourgrass or hurricane grass), Dactyloctenium australe (Durban), Digitaria didactyla (Queensland blue couch), Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama).

Warm-season grasses have C4 metabolism which enables them to grow efficiently at high sunlight in hot, dry climates.