Centipedegrass

Description

Centipedegrass is a slow-growing, coarse-textured, warm-season turf that is adapted for use in low maintenance situations. It is often referred to as "lazy man's grass" due to its infrequent mowing and fertilization requirements. It also has a light-green color and spreads by stolons. It does not tolerate traffic, compaction, high pH, excessive thatch, drought, or heavy shade. Centipedegrass can often be confused with St. Augustinegrass. However, centipedegrass has alternating leaves at the nodes whereas St. Augustinegrass has opposite leaves at the nodes. Centipedegrass also has a more pointed, slenderer leaf blade than St. Augustinegrass. Both leaf blades are V-shaped in cross section, but that of St. Augustinegrass has a more obviously boat-shaped tip.

Lawn Maintenance

Species Data

  • SEEDHEAD / FLOWER
    • seedhead a slender spike
  • VERNATION TYPE
    • leaves folded in the bud
  • LIGULE TYPE
    • short, membranous with fine hairs, hairs longer than purplish membrane, 0.02 inches (0.5 mm) long
  • GROWTH SEASON / LIFE CYCLE
    • warm season turf
  • AURICLE TYPE
    • absent
  • LEAF BLADE TIP SHAPE
    • boat shaped or sharp-pointed; flattened, short, sharply creased, hairs along edge at base
  • LEAF BLADE WIDTH
    • medium, 0.1 - 0.2 in
  • STOLON PRESENCE
    • present
  • RHIZOME PRESENCE
    • absent
  • COLLAR TYPE
    • continuous; constricted by fused crease, hairs tufted at lower edge
  • SHEATH MARGIN
    • split with overlapping margins; sheath has grayish tufts of hairs at throat

Written By

Photo of Dr. Charles PeacockDr. Charles PeacockProfessor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist (919) 515-7615 charles_peacock@ncsu.eduCrop and Soil Sciences - NC State University
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This Extension factsheet can also be viewed at:
https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/centipedegrass