Scientific: Cynodon dactylon
Common: Bermuda grass
Family: Poaceae
Origin: Middle East

Pronounciation: Sigh-NO-don Dac-TIE-lon

Hardiness zones

Landscape Use: Used primarily as an summer warm season turf grass in Phoenix and other areas at lower desert elevation across the Southwest. Cultivated Bermuda grass hybrids such as as 'Tifway 419' are used as athletic sports fields.

Form & Character: Broadly spreading, wide, aggressive (can escape cultivation and naturalize)

Growth Habit: Has a graminoid growth habit as a running grass that spreads by stolons and rhizomes, internodes produce adventitious roots if in contact with soil. Generally low and matting if regularly clipped. If not, the can grow to heights of 6 inches.

Foliage/texture: Bermuda grass blades are green to dujll grey-green in color ranging in lenth from 0.5 inch to as long as 5 inches. Stems are stiff, somewhat flattened, and sometimes tinged with purple as a stress response; medium fine to fine texture.

Flowers & fruits: Bermuda grass flowers are in a cluster of 2 to 6 spikes on a short stem, fruit is inconspicuously developed on these spiked stems. Some cultivated hybrids are sexually sterile.

Seasonal color: Green in the summer.....but brown in the winter due to dormancy.

Temperature: Because this is a C4 grass, it is heat loving to 120oF, optimum growth betwee 75oF and 105oF. Bermuda grass becomes biologically inactive once nightime temperatures fall below 55oF.

Light: Full sun, relatively shade intolerant.

Soil: Highly tolerant of most soil conditions including salinity, except for high pH sodic conditions of black alkali.

Watering: Should be watered regularly from March until November except during periods of heavy summer monsoon rains.

Pruning: Mow frequently when actively growing, especially during July through September. Mow height should range from 3/8 inch to 1.5 inches in height depending on cultivar type and landscape use.

Propagation: Bermuda grass lawns are generally plants from either sod, plugs, or less occassionally seed.

Disease and pests: Most common disease in home lawn settings is 'brown patch'. Otherwise, common Bermuda grass can become a noxious landscape weed if it escapes cultivation. Controlling it requires careful application of integrated pest management techniques.

Additional comments: Bermuda grass tolerates foot traffic and cultivated hybrid are generally wear resistant with excellent root growth. There are many named hybrids and cultivated varieties for Arizona lawns. Pollen from male flowers causes allergies for some.