Zoysiagrass

Description

Zoysiagrass is a warm-season grass that spreads by rhizomes and stolons to produce a very dense, wear-resistant turf. It is best adapted to the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions of North Carolina, but some of the more cold tolerant cultivars can be grown in the western part of the state as well. There are three major species of zoysiagrass suitable for turf: Japanese lawngrass (Z. japonica), mascarenegrass (Z. tenuifolia), and manilagrass (Z. matrella). Zoysiagrass can often be confused with bermudagrass. However, zoysiagrass has hairs standing upright on the leaf blade whereas bermudagrass does not. Zoysiagrass is also stiff to the touch and offers more resistance than bermudagrass.

Lawn Maintenance

Species Data

  • SEEDHEAD / FLOWER
    • seedhead a spikelet, with seeds alternating along head
      ​Figure 1
  • VERNATION TYPE
  • LIGULE TYPE
  • GROWTH SEASON / LIFE CYCLE
    • warm season turf
  • AURICLE TYPE
  • LEAF BLADE TIP SHAPE
    • sharp-pointed; hairy above with at least a few long hairs near base, leaf blade stiff
      Figure 10
  • LEAF BLADE WIDTH
    • 0.08 - 0.16 inches (2 - 4 mm) wide
  • STOLON PRESENCE
  • RHIZOME PRESENCE
    • present
  • COLLAR TYPE
  • SHEATH MARGIN
    • split with overlapping margins; sheath may have tuft of hairs at throat
      Figure 15, Figure 16
Zoysiagrass seedhead.Figure 1. Zoysiagrass seedhead.Zoysiagrass vernation rolled.Figure 2. Zoysiagrass vernation rolled.Zoysiagrass vernation.Figure 3. Zoysiagrass vernation.Zoysiagrass vernation.Figure 4. Zoysiagrass vernation.Zoysiagrass vernation.Figure 5. Zoysiagrass vernation.Zoysiagrass ligule short hairs.Figure 6. Zoysiagrass ligule short hairs.Zoysiagrass hairy ligule.Figure 7. Zoysiagrass hairy ligule.Zoysiagrass auricle.Figure 8. Zoysiagrass auricle.Zoysiagrass AuricleFigure 9: Zoysiagrass AuricleZoysiagrass leaf blade.Figure 10. Zoysiagrass leaf blade tip shape.Zoysiagrass stolon.Figure 11. Zoysiagrass stolon.Zoysiagrass stolon.Figure 12. Zoysiagrass stolon.Zoysiagrass collar.Figure 13. Zoysiagrass collar.Zoysiagrass collar.Figure 14. Zoysiagrass collar.Zoysiagrass sheath.Figure 15. Zoysiagrass sheath.Zoysiagrass sheath.Figure 16. Zoysiagrass sheath

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/zoysiagrass