Bermuda Grass

Common Name: Bermudagrass
Latin Name: Cynodon dactylon
Common Family Name: Grass Family
Latin Family Name: Poaceae = Gramineae

Other Names: Devil grass, dogtooth grass, scutchgrass, vine grass, wire grass

Origin: Native to Africa, but a common weed now around the world. Several hybrids are used as desirable turf.

Biology: A perennial grass weed, that propagates from seeds, stolons, or rhizomes, and re-grows foliage each year from its extensive root system. Soil temperatures above 55 degrees trigger the start of new growth. Root systems may extend many feet underground, and over time the plant will overwhelm other turf. Stems can grown almost vinelike over the tops of landscape ornamental shrubs. Both the rhizomes (underground roots) and stolons (aboveground stems) can develop roots at the nodes, creating either aerial stems at that point, or entirely new plants. A highly drought tolerant plant.

Identification: Stems grow up to 18 inches tall, are wiry and thin, and have numerous joints and scale-like leaves on them. Other leaves are up to 4 inches long and a dull green. The upper surface of the leaf may be coated with short hairs, and where it attaches to the stem there is a projection of longer white hairs. The flower spike forms at the end of the stem, as a whorl of 4 or 5 spikes arranged umbrella-like. The tiny flowers themselves are arranged as two rows on one side of the spike, with a somewhat purplish color.

Characteristics Important in Control: Highly drought tolerant, extremely deep-rooted perennial with extensive, wandering root system. Broken rhizomes can regrow new plants, although stolons and rhizomes exposed to sunlight will die. Systemic herbicide applications need to take into account the amount of root system, and therefore the amount of foliage available to take in the necessary herbicide

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