| Material Information
||Bermuda grass and its varieties
||Press bulletin / Experiment Stations
||Thompson, John B ( John Bert ), b. 1878
||University of Florida, Agricultural Experiment Stations
||Place of Publication:
||government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
| Record Information
||University of Florida
||University of Florida
||All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
||ltqf - AAA6542
notis - AEP5909
alephbibnum - 000934842
PRESS BULLETIN No. 313
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
BERMUDA GRASS AND ITS VARIETIES
By J. B. THOMPSON
As a permanent pasture grass for general planting in Flor-
ida, Bermuda grass undoubtedly ranks first in importance. Being
a creeping perennial with surface runners that root at the joints,
and usually being provided with long fleshy root-stocks, it is b6th
aggressive and persistent and resists well the trampling of stock
and other adverse conditions incident to close grazing. The old
feeling of prejudice against this grass, arising from its ability to
resist the usual measures of eradication, is gradually disappear-
ing as its highly valuable qualities are becoming better known.
VARIETIES OF BERMUDA
There are several distinct forms or varieties of this grass
all of which are closely related and belong to the same species.
These varieties differ from each other in such characters as hardi-
ness to cold, the predominance or lack of rootstocks, and in their
relative vigor of growth. The most common type or "ordinary
Bermuda" is of comparatively fine growth, and seldom exceeds
12 inches in height. It has many fleshy'rootstocks which increase
its power to withstand drought or cold, or the excessive tramp-
ling of stock. Like other forms, its rankness of growth varies
with soil conditions and the general treatment of the pasture.
Usually it grows from 4 to 8 inches high, but under the most
favorable conditions occasionally attains a height of 12 to 15
Giant Bermuda makes more vigorous growth than does the
ordinary form and is practically devoid of rootstocks. As com-
pared with the ordinary variety, this form is coarser of stem,
more erect in growth, and has broader and coarser leaf blades.
On the Florida Experiment Station grounds at Gainesville, this
August 16., 1919
grass has made upright growth to a height of 24 inches when
planted on good pine land and fenced to prevent the entrance of
farm animals. Owing to its freedom from rootstocks, the Giant
form is more easily eradicated than is the ordinary variety; and
for the same reason it is probably a little less persistent under
conditions of extreme drought or close grazing. On the Station
plots it has not formed as dense a sod as is typical of common
Bermuda, but this condition appears to be improved by moderate
grazing. During winter dormancy the Bermuda grass pasture
will readily burn where there is sufficient old growth, and as a
result the Giant Bermuda with practically no rootstocks will be
very seriously damaged, while the common variety will with-
stand the burning with little or no injury. In handling this grass
care should be taken to prevent fire. On favorable locations, and
where given proper treatment this variety will furnish much
more feed than will the common form, and under the most
favorable conditions it may even be utilized profitably for hay.
A coarse growing variety found along the lower Florida East
Coast and often known as Saint Lucie grass, is a form of Giant
Bermuda. It is most common southward from Fort Pierce and
stockmen of that section generally express a preference for it
over the ordinary variety.
Another kind, and the one long known in literature as Saint
Lucie grass, is of rather dwarf growth and has no rootstocks. Its
habits of growth are even less vigorous than those of the com-
mon variety of Bermuda grass and it does n.ot usually exceed six
inches in height. It is said to send out green growth very
quickly after a frost and is consequently prized as a lawn grass,
altho the more vigorous growing varieties are preferable for
Fort Thompson grass is another low, creeping species that
occurs more or less generally thruout the state and is frequently
confused with Giant Bermuda which it somewhat resembles.
Botanically, however, it is an entirely different grass, belonging
to the Paspalum or Water grass group.
State papers please copy.