[Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]
Bermudagrass is a medium- to fine-textured warm-season turfgrass that spreads by rhizomes and stolons. It has excellent heat, drought, and salt tolerance but does not do well in shade. Bermudagrass is the most widely used species on athletic fields and golf course fairways/tee boxes due to its high wear tolerance and rapid recovery. It can also be a very invasive and hard to control weed in some turf settings. Bermudagrass can be confused with nimblewill. However, nimblewill has a membranous ligule, which can be distinguished from the hairy ligule of bermudagrass. Bermudagrass is also often confused with zoysiagrass, but zoysiagrass has hairs standing upright on the leaf blade, whereas bermudagrass does not. Zoysiagrass is also stiff to the touch and offers more resistance to your hand than bermudagrass. Zoysiagrass leaf vernation is rolled whereas bermudagrass leaf vernation is folded. There are many different hybrids of bermudagrass that range from fine to coarse in leaf texture. As a weed, bermudagrass is sometimes referred to as wiregrass.
Seedhead / Flower
raceme; 3-5 spikes that join at the top of a main stem.
leaves folded in the bud
fringe of hairs 0.04 - 0.12 inches (1 - 3 mm) long
Growth Season / Life Cycle
warm season turf or perennial weed
Leaf Blade Tip Shape
sharp-pointed; sparsely hairy, edges rough, leaf blade soft
Leaf Blade Width
0.06 - 0.1 inches (1.5 - 3 mm) wide
continuous; not hairy, may be hairy on edges
sheath is sparsely hairy; flattened to round, loose
bermudagrass (as a weed)
bermudagrass ligule, auricle
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.
Need help in selecting the best turfgrass for your particular situation? The Turf/Cultivar Selection Decision Aid will help you sort through the options which are available. For more information on turfgrass/cultivar selection, establishing a new lawn, caring for a new lawn, or renovating a lawn, see AG-69, Carolina Lawns. For management information, check the maintenance calendar.
Diseases Which May Affect This Turfgrass
dollar spotfairy ringlarge patchleaf spot / melting outMicrodochium patch (pink snow mold)Pythium root rotslime moldspring dead spot
© 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.