[Paspalum notatum Flugge]
Bahiagrass is a warm-season species that spreads by rhizomes, and is easily recognized by its characteristic "Y-shaped" seedhead. It exhibits low overall quality because of its light color, coarse texture, and open canopy. Due to its rapid lateral spread via aggressive rhizome production it is primarily used in areas where erosion control and immediate ground cover are the main concern. It is frequently planted on roadsides and highway rights of way because it has good drought tolerance. In addition, bahiagrass has the ability to tolerate a wide range of soils. Unfortunately, it can be a very competitive and unsightly weed in highly maintained turf.
Seedhead / Flower
raceme; V-shaped seedhead
leaves rolled in the bud, may appear to be folded
membranous; dense white hairs on back, 0.04 inches (1 mm) long
Growth Season / Life Cycle
warm season turf or perennial weed
Leaf Blade Tip Shape
sharp-pointed; usually sparsely hairy along edge toward base, smooth on both surfaces
Leaf Blade Width
leaf blade mostly greater than 0.2 inches wide, 0.16 - 0.31 inches (4 - 8 mm)
absent; due to the open canopy and lack of thatch production, its stout, aggressive rhizomes can sometimes be interpreted as stolons because they appear to grow at or above the soil surface
continuous; collar and its edge with hairs
flattened; sheath usually not hairy; sharply creased, rather glossy
bahiagrass rolled vernation
Note: Still not sure this is the right turfgrass? The Turf & Weed Identification Decision Aid may help. Check the TurfFiles glossary for definitions of unfamiliar terms.
© North Carolina State University. This information sheet was prepared by Arthur H. Bruneau, Bridget R. Lassiter, Gail G. Wilkerson, Emily J. Erickson, Casey Reynolds, Jenifer J. Reynolds, and Gregory S. Buol. Department of Crop Science, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, North Carolina State University. Prepared April 29, 2008. Available on-line at www.turffiles.ncsu.edu. This publication was made possible through a grant provided by the Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research & Education (CENTERE) whose purpose is to support worthwhile projects that will benefit both the private sector and the public, and protect the environment.