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More about turfgrass at Mauritius

Seashore dropseed growing on the beach near Bel Ombre, Mauritius

I visited Mauritius this month for a seminar (report and presentation slides here) and a bit of a botanizing holiday. Mauritius is a fascinating place to study grass. It is one of the Mascarene Islands. If that name sounds familiar, it should -- one of the common names for Zoysia tenuifolia is mascarenegrass. 

One finds a wide range of grasses growing in the wild and as managed turf at Mauritius. I've written about some of the grasses I saw when I visited for the first time a few years ago.

Mascarenegrass produces a dense turf in a highly trafficked park at Gris Gris, Mauritius

The golf courses at Mauritius (there are 8) use bermudagrass (Cynodon), primarily, although 2 of the courses have seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) everywhere, and 1 more course has seashore paspalum on the greens.

Bermudagrass grows well beside the sea on the 17th hole at Anahita, Mauritius

 One can find seashore paspalum growing in low-lying wet areas at Mauritius. Seashore paspalum is not tolerant of drought, so one does not find it in the wild in areas that do not have a regular supply of water.


Paspalum (1)
Seashore paspalum growing at the edge of and into a pond at Belle Mare, Mauritius

The golf courses at Belle Mare are bermudagrass, with some Stenotaphrum secundatum growing in rough, in the shade, and in unmown areas.

The 17th hole on the Legends course at Belle Mare, Mauritius; Stenotaphrum is growing in the unmown foreground, with bermudagrass on the green and surrounds

The Paradis course is near sea level and has seashore paspalum greens and bermudagrass on tees, fairways, and rough.

Talking about different grasses and their management at Paradis Golf Club at Le Morne, Mauritius

There are interesting turf evaluation plots at Paradis. And even more interesting is to observe what grasses are growing, and how they perform, on the course. One can find different types of seashore paspalum on the greens, seashore dropseed growing right beside the lagoon, bermudagrass covering most of the course, Stenotaphrum secundatum in much of the rough, and even some patches of mascarenegrass.

The seashore paspalum performs well on the greens at Paradis, and on the fairways, it makes an excellent turf in the low areas that seem to be at or below sea level, where the bermudagrass does not persist. But on the drier areas of the course, which consists of most of the fairways and rough, on generally sandy soil, the bermudagrass and Stenotaphrum dominate the sward.


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