21 Different Types Of Bermuda Grass For Lawn, Hay, and Golf (With Pictures)

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Bermuda grass is one of the most popular turf grasses available. It is a go-to ground cover for athletic fields, golf courses and large lawns.

While they could be hard to maintain given its requirement for water and fertilizer, Bermuda grass grows densely and beautifully.

If you are having thoughts on making a natural garden mat out of them, here’s everything you need to know about Bermuda grass. 

 

21 types of Bermuda grass with pictures

What is Bermuda grass?

The Bermuda grass is a famous, perennial turf grass with the botanical name Cynodon dactylon and belongs to native areas of the Mediterranean, Africa, Europe and Asia. It is called by other names such as couch grass.

It is a warm season grass that was first used as forage/pasture grass but has long been cultivated as turf grass and ground cover grass because of its fast-growing, rhizomatic roots which allows it to grow dense and thick.

It was introduced by the Spanish in the 1500s and was brought to the US to serve as pasture grass in the late 1800s.  

It has more than 30 cultivars (some of them we will discuss in the next sections) and has the fastest growth rate among all grasses as it can be naturally found in banks, rice farms, wastelands and marshes. It is one of the most accessible, easy to grow and versatile grass types available.  

What does bermuda grass look like?

This grass can grow to a maximum of 1.5ft and is known for its short and flat leaves. It will bear clustered spikelets at the tips of its green stems.

In warm and temperate climates, the Bermuda grass will remain green even during the cold season. However, if it gets too cold, it will grow dormant throughout the cold but shall turn green again during the spring. Some variants can even tolerate longer winter periods. 

There is much confusion between and among grass types and when it comes to Bermuda, it can easily be mistaken for crabgrass. There is a section below that will show what Bermuda grass looks like.  

What are the benefits of Bermuda grass?

There are many reasons as to why the Bermuda grass can be considered as a super grass because it is more than just a turf grass or ground cover grass.  For one, Bermuda is also cultivated and developed as forage and pasture grass because of its natural properties.  

There are unknown benefits of Bermuda grass that goes beyond gardening. I mean, did you know that this grass is also medicinal? In India, the Bermuda grass is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

In support of this oriental way of curing, scientific researches show that Bermuda grass has a wide range of active minerals in its leaves and roots. These are crude protein, Vitamins A and C, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and fiber.

Traditionally, it is used to treat a wider range of diseases from fever to as serious as asthma, vision problems, bronchitis, acid reflux and tumor, among others. 

Bermuda grass pictures

It is called by many names such as couch grass and devil’s grass. For us to not be confused about what it looks like, here are some pictures of the Bermuda grass. 

Pictures of Bermuda grass Pictures of Bermuda grass

Types of Bermuda grass

 As have been mentioned, Bermuda grass has more species and cultivars than you could imagine. But in a nutshell, it could only boil down to two types: seeded and hybrid. 

Seeded Bermuda grass

Seeded Bermuda grass

This Bermuda grass type was introduced two decades after the Bermuda grass was introduced in the USA. Then and now, it has gained a good reputation over the years because of the existence of new cultivars that are as dense and as useful as the hybrid type.

The main upside of seeded Bermuda grass is that they are as functional and as tough at a cheaper cost, in all aspects. And new cultivars have developed winter hardiness. 

Hybrid Bermuda grass

Hybrid Bermuda grass

As the term implies, hybrid Bermuda grass is cultivated and grafted to have more coveted grass characteristics that are not natural to seeded Bermuda grass such as higher shade tolerance, more compact growth, deeper green color and resistance to diseases.

The only downside to hybrid Bermuda is that of course, they cannot produce seeds and as such, you will have to plant some again when blank spots and damage in the turf appears. Bermuda types with the name Tif on it are the most common varieties of hybrid Bermuda grass. 

We just made the starkest comparison but you will find out that classifying Bermuda is trickier than you would imagine.

You would find out that some seeded Bermuda are developed cross-genetically with other Bermuda types but they cannot be considered as hybrids. You would also find that some hybrids do not generally mean easier to grow and easier to maintain. 

Common Bermuda grass

It is very important for you to know the cultivars of common Bermuda grass because one way or another, you might find yourself wanting to use them as turf grass and ground cover. For that reason, we will do some profiling of the most common Bermuda grass cultivars and they are as follows. 

Jackpot Bermuda grass

Types of Bermuda grass: Jackpot Bermuda grass

It is one of the best ground covers for athletic fields, specifically baseball fields. The major downside to this variant is that its grass quality can really be dependent in terms of the location where it is grown and it really is high maintenance.

In way warmer temperatures like Arizona and Georgia, it could have poorer growth quality. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon L. Pers. ‘Jackpot’
  • Plant type: Turf grass
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic, neutral, slightly alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 6-9

Tifway 419 Bermuda grass

Types of Bermuda grass: Tifway 419 Bermuda grass

This is the most famous, sought-after sports ground cover for the last four decades. It is dense and has high recuperative potential.

It is also very tough considering that it will only go dormant after being exposed to repeated winter frosts but will turn green again as soon as the temperature reaches 45 degrees.

It is fast in everything: root establishment, growth rate, and spreading. It is one of toughest hybrid Bermuda out there.

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis germplasm 
  • Plant type: Turf grass, hybrid
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial to full shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 7b-11a

Tifton 85 Bermuda grass

Types of Bermuda grass: Tifton 85 Bermuda grass
Source

This hybrid is a cross between Tifton 68, one of the best pasture grasses with high cold tolerance and PI 290884, a drought tolerant Bermuda.

In contrast with other Bermuda grass hybrids, it is taller, a darker green in color, larger stems and roots and broader leaves. It is more preferred for larger pasture lands because of these characteristics. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon x Cynodon nlemfuensis
  • Plant type: Turf grass, hybrid
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial to full shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 5-10

TifSport Bermuda grass

TifSport Bermuda grass

It was developed under the collaboration project of the US Department of Agriculture and the University of Georgia. It was engineered with a gamma mutant from its cousin Midiron.

It is known for its high tolerance to cold that will produce dense and thick turf good for tree lines and fairways. It cannot be produced with seeds, only through vegetative propagation.

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis
  • Plant type: Turf grass, hybrid
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 6-12

Tifway II Bermuda grass

It is a Tifway mutant known to be more frost and nematode tolerant. Of course, it is easily confused with only this one having more seed heads and an increased shoot density.

It will thrive well in many soil types but it will require different watering intervals. While it is very attractive, it is also high maintenance. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis
  • Plant type: Turf grass, hybrid
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 7-11

Sahara Bermuda grass

Sahara Bermuda grass

If you need low-cost Bermuda seed grass that is good for large lawns and sports fields and good pasture grass, this is one of the most popular choices.

It produces a dense, dark green turf that is resistant to wear and drought. It also has a low thatching rate. It is also relatively low maintenance and it is cost-efficient. It also has an improved version called the Sahara II. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon Nu-Mex Sahara
  • Plant type: Turf grass, hybrid
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 9-12

Yukon Bermuda grass

Yukon Bermuda grass
Source

This one was specifically genetically engineered by the Oklahoma State University Turfgrass Research Team.

It was made as a turf grass for any garden theme along tree lines and fairways.

It is one of those shade tolerant Bermuda grass and can be good at cooler temperatures. This means that it will not immediately grow dormant as soon as the winter season sets in. More than this, it is also relatively disease and spring dead spot resistant. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon ‘Yukon’
  • Plant type: Turf grass
  • Sun exposure: Full sun 
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam, shallow rocky
  • Soil pH: acid, neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 6-10

Ormond Bermuda grass

It is known for its distinct blue green color with a not so coarse texture, medium thickness and is less dense than its other Bermuda variety cousins.

Although it could survive a range of diseases, including pest infestation, it is not tolerant to cooler temperatures. It is popular as turf grass for golf courses.  

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon ‘Ormond’
  • Plant type: Turf grass
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9

Coastal Bermuda grass

Coastal Bermuda grass

It is one of the best perennial forage, pasture and hay grasses but requires high maintenance requirements. Although they produce a lot of seed heads, you will find out that it does not produce many seeds. It can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis
  • Plant type: Turf grass, hybrid
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam, silt, rocky
  • Soil pH: acidic, neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 5-12

Blackjack Bermuda grass

Blackjack Bermuda grass

If you need to add density to your law, top variety Blackjack is all you need. With its fine texture, it could produce a glossy, thick, deep green turf in no time. It is a warm season grass seed that is fast-growing both in coverage and in establishing roots. 

  • Plant type: Turf grass
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 7-10

La Prima Bermuda grass

This is considered as a super-seeded Bermuda because it is a blend between SR-9554 and La Paloma, both seed grass Bermuda.

It is a very stable turf grass, resembling hybrid characteristics such as pest and drought resistance. It has fast germination and growth phase and is low-maintenance. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon ‘La Prima’
  • Plant type: Turf grass, blend
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade to full shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH:  acidic, neutral
  • Hardiness zones: 7-10

Oasis Blend

This one’s a hybrid which is a popular choice because it can be blended to with other Bermuda grass seeds. Its most popular blends are Maya, Transcontinental and Blackjack.

It never disappoints as it is more tolerant to shade, essentially disease resistant and has a range of other adaptations not available among non-hybrid varieties. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon ‘Oasis’
  • Plant type: Turf grass, blend
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9

Russell Bermuda grass

It was developed by LSU Agricultural Centers in Alabama to be cultivated and distributed amongst cattle producers mainly in Louisiana.

It is an excellent pasture grass and for hay production. It does not produce many seeds but it is known for being hardy in winter.  

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon ‘Russell’
  • Plant type: Turf grass
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: acidic, neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 7-10

Texas Bermuda grass

As the name implies, this improved variety is made for Texas like temperatures. It is sought-after for its endurance, toughness when it comes to drought and wear.

It can grow in different soil types and also has high recuperative potential. It is also known for its superior dark green color and dense turf quality.  

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon ‘Texas’
  • Plant type: Turf grass, blend
  • Sun exposure: Full sun 
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: neutral
  • Hardiness zones: 6-9

Yuma Bermuda grass

It is one of the most dense-growing Bermuda available. It was cultivated from good forage and pasture grasses.

It has high drought resistance ability and is tolerant with acidic and salty soils. It is both available as sod and seed. It requires a lot of sun and could grow dormant below 60 degrees.

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon ‘Yuma’
  • Plant type: Turf grass, blend
  • Sun exposure: Full sun 
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: acidic, neutral
  • Hardiness zones: 6-10

Mohawk bermuda grass

This one is considered an advanced synthetic type seeded Bermuda. It has fine-textured, green leaves that can tolerate colder temperatures (up to low winter temperatures).

It thrives well in saline soils and because it is fast and dense growing, it is attractive to landscapers and pasture land owners. It was named for Mohawk Valley in Arizona where it was developed.  

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon ‘Mohawk’
  • Plant type: Turf grass, blend
  • Sun exposure: Dappled sunlight, partial shade to full shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 3-9

Triangle Blend Bermuda grass

It is an improved seed grass known for its not so fine texture. It is a fast-growing Bermuda that could tolerate both cold and drought. As a triangle blend, its most effective mixes would be, one, Sultan-Sydney and Mohawk and two, Jackpot, Blackjack and Mohawk. 

It is also well-adapted to various soil and climate conditions thanks to its genetic blend. It is also a good choice because it is cheap. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon ‘Mohawk-Sydney-Sultan’
  • Plant type: Turf grass, blend
  • Sun exposure: Full sun 
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam, well-draining
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 6-11

Tiflawn

It is considered as a perennial sod and is a hybrid. It is grown from seeds known for its fast growth rate and root establishment. It has paler green leaves, not so fine texture and its relatively low growing.

It is drought and wear tolerance with very high recuperative potential. The only downside is that it is vulnerable to Bermuda termites. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis
  • Plant type: Turf grass, hybrid
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam, well-draining
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9

TifGrand

It also goes by the label PP21017 that is finer in texture than its fellow hybrid cousin Tifway. Under lower nitrogen soils, it maintains its dark green color. It is resistant to both spring blank spots and mole crickets.

It is considered as the most shade tolerant Bermuda having been scientifically developed to withstand up to 50% of shade. 

  • Botanical Name: Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis
  • Plant type: Turf grass, hybrid
  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade to full shade
  • Soil type: Clay, sand, loam, well-draining
  • Soil pH: neutral, alkaline
  • Hardiness zones: 5-9

Is Bermuda a good grass?

Needless to say, Bermuda is a good grass for many reasons.

One, it has an extensive, rhizomic root system with the ability to grow even in the harshest climate conditions.

Two, it has high tolerance for many diseases.

Three, it can even grow in coastal areas and hard, sandy soils.

Four, it comes with many cultivars and varieties that you could choose from. Most importantly, Bermuda is functional. Aside from its beautifying component, it is also good as forage grass. So all in all, yes, Bermuda is a good grass. 

Read also: Types of Centipede grass: Everything you need to know

Is common Bermuda grass good for lawns?

Aside from being good as golf and other athletic turfs, the common Bermuda could also make a good lawn grass. Its fast creeping, fine leaves and rhizomes roots can be sown year-round.

While it is drought tolerant, can accommodate partial shade and will survive light flooding, it still requires a lot of maintenance work and when overseeding happens, it could become uncontrollable and shall become invasive.

However, compared to hybrid Bermuda, common Bermuda is still easier and cheaper to maintain. Aside from this, it really has a higher tolerance for heavy foot traffic making it good not only for lawns.  

Conclusion

To conclude, there are many things that could be appreciated when it comes to Bermuda grass.

Being one of the most popular turf grass choices and given its long list of cultivars, it is safe to say that we see Bermuda everywhere: from small lawns, pasture lands, bowling greens, golf courses and athletic fields.

The bottom line is, it is attractive, functional and easy to grow. You just have to know which one will fit your home, your location and the climate in your area.

 

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