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Turfgrass Mystery: can you identify the grass on this putting green?


This is a warm-season (C4) grass that performs well on putting greens in the tropics. Click the image above to see a larger view. The photo was taken on a putting green in Asia just 1° north of the equator.

I've seen it as a fairway or lawn grass, but as a putting green turf, I've only seen this use in Asia. It seems to perform best with relatively minimal maintenance and does well in areas with relatively high cloud cover and rainfall (it is not a Cynodon species) where bermudagrass struggles. It also grows well in some relatively cool, because of high altitude, areas near the equator. It should probably be used on more golf courses.

Can you identify this grass? 

Here's another photo. It looks almost like creeping bentgrass, doesn't it?


The answer is serangoon grass (Digitaria didactyla), also known as blue couch.

After a discussion on Twitter with many people guessing that this was Zoysia matrella or Zoysia pacifica, due to it performing so well in areas with lots of cloud cover, the correct answer was provided at almost the same time by HK Golfer Magazine,

and then by Albert Bancroft.

We find serangoon grass greens in Singapore, and in Malaysia, and they generally perform very well. I've also seen this grass thriving on the greens of the famous Nuwara Eliya Golf Club (below) high in the mountains of Sri Lanka, at Bangalore, and at the organically-managed Kodaikanal Golf Club in Tamil Nadu.



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