[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
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
continuous; collar and its edge
flattened; sheath usually not
hairy; sharply creased, rather glossy
Note: Still not sure
this is the right weed? The Turf
& Weed Identification Decision Aid may help. Check the TurfFiles glossary for definitions
of unfamiliar terms.
is well suited for roadsides because of its good drought tolerance and general
competitive ability in the southern United States. Unfortunately, it can be
very competitive and unsightly in highly maintained turf. As with other
perennial paspalums, bahiagrass can be difficult to control. Every effort
should be made to prevent these weedy grasses from becoming established in
turf, as selective control measures are usually difficult. Maintaining a
dense, healthy turf year round by proper mowing and fertilization helps prevent
encroachment and weed establishment.
grass weeds generally cannot be controlled with preemergence herbicides, and
postemergence options are usually limited due to turf tolerance issues. The
only proven way to selectively remove bahiagrass is with multiple applications
of arsonate herbicides (DSMA, MSMA, CMA) or metsulfuron (Manor, Blade, etc.)
beginning in early spring in tolerant turfgrass species.
Tolerant Turfs (1)
Average Efficacy Rating(2)
Range of Trial Efficacy Values, %
Number of Trials
be, c, sa, z
AAtrex 4L*, Scotts Bonus S
For use only by or under the supervision of a certified
applicator, or by commercial nursery, turf, and landscape personnel.
Not for application to residential lawns.
turfgrass in the database is completely tolerant. Check label to see if
chemical can be used at a reduced rate or during the dormant season on your
control (90 to 100%)
control (80 to 90%)
control (70 to 80%)
ratings are based on herbicide trials performed by weed scientists at North
Carolina State University between 1997 and 2007. The number of trials
included in the efficacy ratings is displayed in the next-to-last column. The
higher this number, the more confidence can be placed in the efficacy values.
Trials may have involved sequential applications of one or more chemical.
Details of individual trials (herbicide rates, dates of application,
environmental conditions at time of application, etc) can be viewed on the
TurfFiles web site, through the Turf Weed Management
ratings for chemicals lacking trial data are from “Pest
Management Strategic Plan for Turfgrass in the Southern United States,”
summary of a workshop for turf experts from multiple universities held in
Griffin, GA in October, 2004 and sponsored by the Southern Region Integrated
Pest Management Center.
of specific chemicals are based upon information on the manufacturer's label
and performance in a limited number of trials. Because environmental
conditions and methods of application may vary widely, performance of the
chemical will not always conform to the safety and pest control standards
indicated by experimental data. The order in which brand names are given is
not an indication of a recommendation or criticism.
for the use of agricultural chemicals are included in this publication as a
convenience to the reader. The use of brand names and any mention or listing
of commercial products or services does not imply endorsement by North
Carolina State University or discrimination against similar products or
services not mentioned. Other brand names may be labeled for use on
turfgrasses. Individuals who use agricultural chemicals are responsible for
ensuring that the intended use complies with current regulations and conforms
to the product label. Be sure to obtain current information about usage
regulations and examine a current product label before applying any chemical.
For assistance, contact your county's Cooperative Extension agent.
© North Carolina State University. This information
sheet was prepared by Fred Yelverton, Bridget R. Lassiter, Gail G. Wilkerson,
Leon Warren, Travis Gannon, Jenifer J. Reynolds, and Gregory S. Buol.
Department of Crop Science, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, North
Carolina State University. Prepared June 3, 2009.
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