Types of Lawn Grass: Identification Guide to Sod Types (Pictures)

It is critical to achieve a lush, healthy lawngrass in your yard if you know how to identify and pick the right type of grass. Warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses are two different types of grass that may be used in various climates. Grass identification is crucial to reseed the sod with a similar variety of grass if you want to enhance the appearance of your garden landscape and lawn.

Types of Grass

In the botanical family Poaceae, there are approximately 12,000 different types of grass. Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda grass, centipede grass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescue lawn grass are some of the most popular types of grass. Hardy, robust grasses are suitable for sports fields, golf courses, and parks. Lush green sod grass isn’t just useful for lovely yards and gardens; it’s also great for them.

What Kind of Grass Do I Have?

Examining the breadth of the grass blade, its form, and the sort of blade tips can be used to determine what kind of grass you have. The growth habit of grasses also helps to identify species. Certain grasses grow in clumps, for example. The new shoots that emerge from the grass (stolons) are another method to determine its type. Above-ground, below-ground, and mixed stems are also available.

Types of Warm Season Grasses (By Zone)

Southern states in the United States prefer warm-season grasses species. Centipede grass, bahiagrass, and Bermuda grass are examples of warm-season grasses. Texas, California, Florida, and Alabama are all good places to grow these popular grass types. Drought and heat resistance are the characteristics of warm-season grasses, which thrive in full sun. Between 80°F and 95°F (27°C and 35°C), warm-season grasses flourish.

Features of common types of warm-season grasses:

Bermuda grass (zones 7-10)—Little hairs cover the blades of fine-textured, sturdy grass in this sort of grass. For sports fields and golf courses, it’s a great grass.

Centipede grass (zones 7-10)—The grass blades of this grass type are thin and rough in texture. Slow-growing, low-maintenance grasses like those found on the Texas Gulf Coast thrive in sandy areas.

Zoysia grass (zones 5-10)—With excellent cold tolerance, this is a popular kind of warm-season lawn grass. The grass is lush and dark for the majority of the year, even after it has withered.

St. Augustine grass (zones 8-10)—The blades of this heat-tolerant grass are bluish-green and have a coarse appearance.

Bahiagrass (zones 9, 10)—This lawn grass is identified by its medium to broad blades with pointed tips. Suitable for sandy, acidic soils where sod or turfgrass is needed.

Types of Cool Season Grasses (By Zone)

Grasses that thrive well in colder northern states are the kinds of grasses that are suited for cold areas. Tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, rough bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass are some of the most popular cold-season grasses. For harsh winters, the hardiest grasses usually remain green.

Autumn and spring are the ideal growing seasons for these cold-hardy grasses. Cold-season grasses should be maintained at a temperature of between 65°F and 80°F (18°C and 26°C).

Features of common types of cold season grasses:

Fescue grass (zones 4-7)—Tall fescue, fine fescue, creeping fescue, and hard fescue are some of the types of fescue grass that flourish in cold climates. The growth habit and appearance of the grasses are also reflected in their names. These tough grasses thrive in both full sun and partial shade and have broad blades.

Kentucky bluegrass (zones 2-6)—This grass species, which thrives in cold and intermediate climates, is distinguished by dark green turfgrass with pointed tips.

Perennial ryegrass (zones 3-6)—This low-maintenance lawn grass has thin, glossy green leaves to look for.

Bentgrass (zones 4-6)—This is a grass that’s often used for lush lawns and golf courses because of its finely-textured nature. When there is a lot of foot traffic, the hardy grass is a fantastic option.

Types of Lawn Grass (With Pictures and Names) – Identification

It’s simple to believe that all grasses look the same when looking at photographs of sod or turfgrass. Examining individual species of grass up close, on the other hand, can quickly determine their identities. Read about the most popular grass types and study their botanical names, as well as pictures and descriptions.

Bermuda Grass (Cynodon dactylon)

Devil’s grass, scutch grass, and dog’s tooth grass are all names for Bermuda grass sod, which is a hardy type of lawn grass. Because it’s hard-wearing, heat resistant, and tolerant of a lot of traffic, Bermuda grass is an superb option for lawns. Bermuda grass thrives even in poor soil conditions. In locations with direct sunlight and little shade, you’ll want to grow Bermuda grass. The soil should have excellent drainage for this tenacious grass type to thrive.

Bermuda grass has short flat blades with rough edges and is grayish-green in color. This grass species is drought-tolerant due to its deep root system. It forms a thick carpet of lush grass because to its dense growth. This grass variety is tougher than other kinds of grass for heat and drought when compared to other warm-weather species such as Zoysia grass or centipede grass. Bermuda grass is a rapid-growing grass species. You’ll need to mow the lawn frequently throughout the growing season.

Grass identification:

  • Grass color: dark blueish-green
  • Blade shape: up to 0.23″ (2 – 6mm) thick
  • Growth habit: Turf growth that is extensive, forming thick grass

Buffalo Grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)

In warm climates, buffalo grass is a common kind of sod that has short blades. In California, Texas, and other southern states, this heat-hardy sod is a frequent pick for lawns. This grass type is also easy to care for in hot climates because of its short blades. Buffalo grass, on the other hand, is prone to weed problems such as crabgrass and broadleaf weeds because of its quick growth.

Buffalo grass cultivars create a nice turf when they’re grown as lawn grasses. Turfgrass maintains its blue-green color even in low-moisture or drought conditions. The leaves curl at the tips, which can be seen up close. In a yard with plenty of sun and little rainfall, buffalo grass thrives best.

Weeds grow quickly when there’s a lot of rain. Turf also grows poorly when it is placed in shaded areas or receives a lot of foot traffic.

Grass identification:

  • Grass color: dark blue-green
  • Blade shape: curly leaves that are 0.3” to 0.35” (8 – 9mm) wide
  • Growth habit: Runners (stolons) produce attractive turf with a thin development, which spreads across the ground.

Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum)

In subtropical climates, bahiagrass is a low-maintenance lawn grass that grows in warm areas. This kind of grass is often seen in Florida and the south-eastern United States as a hardy lawn grass. Low-maintenance, heat-tolerant, and drought-resistant lawns necessitate the use of sod. Pastures of this kind are also quite popular.

The spreading stolons of Bahiagrass make it a low-growing grass. As a consequence, the grass is thick and can withstand a lot of foot traffic. Grass blades are hairless and may be up to 0.23″ (6 mm) broad. The flat, folded blades of this grass, which taper to a point, can be used to identify it.

This grass type is only green during the growing season, similar to most warm-season grasses such as Bermuda and Zoysia. You might put cool-season ryegrass on your lawn to help it stay lush and green all year.

Grass identification:

  • Grass color: light green
  • Blade shape: A sharp point on broad, folded blades
  • Growth habit: spreading slow growth to form thick, lush turf

St. Augustine Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum)

St. The large blade and rounded blade tips of Augustine lawn grass distinguish it from other types of grass. Augustine was born in the year 400. This quick-growing lawn grass thrives in sunny areas, developing a thick carpet of green over time. Saint Because of its lush appearance, Augustine grass is a popular dense turfgrass in Florida and hot coastal areas. Because it is adaptable for warm-season lawn grass in many tropical locations, the sod thrives in a wide range of soil types.

St. The broad, flat blades of Augustine grass are dark green in color and easily identifiable. The blade form of this warm grass type, which narrows to rounded tips, is another way to distinguish it. The blades are 0.16 to 0.4 inches (4 to 10 mm) broad. St. Augustinegrass is a grass that grows well in the summer. Bermuda grass and Augustine are equally popular.

St. bahiagrass, on the other hand, is much better. Mowing, watering, and fertilizing Augustine require more attention. St. is the abbreviation for St. In comparison to bahiagrass, Augustine grass is more sturdy.

Grass identification:

  • Grass color: dark, blue-green grass blades
  • Blade shape: Similar to centipede grass, the leaves are broad and coarse.
  • Growth habit: In the right conditions, this fast-growing tropical grass type can be found.

Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)

In colder and transitional parts of the country, Kentucky bluegrass is a common sod grass. Grass becomes lush, green dense turf with toughness characteristics during this harsh season. Kentucky grass is a common perennial lawn and pasture grass that was named after the state. KBG is a brand name for grass seed or sod.

The boat-shaped tips and small leaves of Kentucky bluegrass are distinguishing features. The grass blades have a smooth texture and grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and are about 0.12 inch (3 mm) broad. KBG is a slow-growing grass, compared to other species of grasses such as tall fescue.

In comparison to most cold-season grasses, it has additional upkeep requirements. Yet, the additional effort is worth the depth of greenness in lush Kentucky bluegrass lawns. This Kentucky bluegrass is also an fantastic lawn grass for establishing in the transition zone because to its tolerance of some heat.

Grass identification:

  • Grass color: rich emerald to blueish-green
  • Blade shape: With boat-shaped tips, flat to folded blades that are somewhat flexible
  • Growth habit: Slower-growing grass with rhizomes that spreads

Centipede Grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides)

Centipede grass is a low-maintenance grass that thrives in warm climates with minimal upkeep. This dense lawn grass thrives in full sun as well as light to moderate shade. In states with homeowners who desire lush green lawns throughout the summer, centipede grass is a common grass.

The color of centipede grass ranges from medium to light green. The medium-length blades, which are thin and lanceolate shaped, distinguish this type of turf. This grass can be grown in sand or acidic soil. It’s preferable to plant St. Augustine grass near the water. Since salt-tolerant grasses are more common in Bermuda, Augustine or Bermuda grass is used.

Because it is so easy to care for, this type of grass has been dubbed the “lazy man’s grass.” Regular mowing and watering will keep the grass healthy. However, unlike other kinds of lawn grass, it does not have a rich lush green color.

Grass identification:

  • Grass color: light to medium green
  • Blade shape: The leaves are narrow and tapering to a point or boat form, with folds.
  • Growth habit: Slow-growing turf grass has a spreading nature.

Zoysia Grass (Zoysia)

Zoysia lawn grass is a warm-season grass that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions and is named after a Slovenian botanist. Lawns, golf course fairways, and other locations with heavy traffic employ this turfgrass because it is a popular choice. The appealing grass has a lush, thick mat with a delicate touch and tiny grain.

In warm climates and the transition zone, this versatile lawn grass produces a stunning turf. The thin grass blades are tolerant of moderate shade and thrive in full sun. The heat and cold hardiness of Zoysia grass makes it ideal for a variety of environments. It’s a popular sod choice for many households because it requires little upkeep.

The grass blades are delicate, with a rich green color. The narrow flat blades are only 0.07 inches (2 mm) broad. Drought-tolerant turfgrass performs well under foot traffic and is drought resistant. The leaves of Zoysia grass are firm, producing dense, lush lawns and greens. However, mowing this grass might be more difficult.

Grass identification:

  • Grass color: emerald green
  • Blade shape: Rolled-shaped thin blades that taper to a point
  • Growth habit: The plant has a low-growing character and spreads quickly.

Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne)

This lawn grass grows throughout the year and doesn’t need to be replanted, as its name suggests. It’s a popular cold season grass. A fast-growing grass that develops from seed is perennial ryegrass. English ryegrass, ray grass, and winter grass are just a few of the names for this grass. When excellent cold tolerance is needed, the warm season grass is chosen as a lawn grass.

Perennial ryegrass thrives in a climate with mild summers and cold winters. Perennial ryegrass is one of the most popular lawn grasses in the Midwest. To create lush lawns all year long, southern states prefer ryegrass seed to Bermuda grass.

Fine ribs run the length of the grass blades as seen in photos. Blades are pointed at the tip and have a flat surface. Perennial lawn grass develops in clumps or bunches, which is another identifying characteristic. This gorgeous lawn grass is appropriate for sports fields because of its fine texture. As a result, on tennis courts and golf course greens, this is the grass species most often used.

Grass identification:

  • Grass color: medium to dark green
  • Blade shape: It flattens out at the bottom after being raised.
  • Growth habit: Turf develops slowly after quick germination.

Fine Fescue Grass (Festuca)

This image depicts the tufted nature of sheep fescue grass, which is a popular lawn or turfgrass plant. Fine fescue grasses come in five different species:

  • hard fescue
  • chewings fescue
  • sheep fescue
  • creeping red fescue
  • slender fescue

For lush lawns, sports fields, parks, and soil erosion prevention, fescue species are employed. Fescue is one of the most popular pasture grasses in North America for high-quality animal diets. Fine fescue is a excellent option if you want to achieve a superb lawn of good grass.

It’s one of the most challenging but also most versatile types of lawn grass to cultivate. It is shade- and cold-tolerant, and requires little care. The hardy turfgrass thrives in most soil conditions. To boost the hardiness of bluegrass, Bermuda grass, or ryegrass, fine fescue seed is frequently blended in.

The blades of grass on fine fescue grass are barely 1.5 mm broad, making it one of the tiniest blades available. It’s preferable not to cultivate fine fescue grass in high-traffic areas because of the delicate grass leaves. However, if you mow the grass to a very short height, the lovely turf grass can look stunning in a well-manicured lawn.

Grass identification:

  • Grass color: medium to dark green
  • Blade shape: Narrow blades that thin to a sharp tip
  • Growth habit: The plant develops in a tight cluster with rapid germination followed by slow growth.

Tall Fescue Grass (Festuca arundinacea)

Tall fescue grass has a clumping growth pattern and deep roots, making it ideal for cooler seasons. Tall fescue grass is suitable for most yards because it can tolerate heat, cold, drought, and shade. In temperate regions, this kind of grass is an fantastic option for creating a strong, healthy lawn. The sod grass has a huge root system, which is greater than any of the other cold season grasses on this list, giving it hardiness.

The clumping growth nature of fescue grasses is a unique characteristic that makes them so hardy. While other grasses may not be able to access deep roots, they absorb nutrients and moisture. The kind of blades distinguishes tall fescue grass from fine fescue. Tall fescue grass is stronger than fine fescue grass and has broader leaves. Tall fescue grass is also more robust and requires less upkeep than its “finer” counterpart.

In reality, only mow your yard once a month and shower it every now and then. Tall fescue is the most simple kind of lawn grass to care for, according to some gardening pros. Kentucky 31 is a popular tall fescue lawn grass variety.

Grass identification:

  • Grass color: light emerald green
  • Blade shape: Up to 0.5 inch (13 mm) broad leaves
  • Growth habit: Hardy lawn grass that forms a clump

How to Choose the Best Type of Lawn Grass

You’ll have to choose between several types of lawn grass to get the greatest-looking lawn in your area. How do you know what to choose? When designing a stunning lawn for your garden landscape, there are a few things to consider:

  • Climate—If you’re going for a warm-season or cold-season grass, keep that in mind. In the transition zone, certain grass sod types such as Kentucky bluegrass or Zoysia Grass flourish.
  • Foot traffic—Choosing a grass species that stands up well to pedestrian or foot traffic if you need a type of hardy, durable grass.
  • Sunlight—How much sunlight does your lawn receive? Sod types that prefer full sun may not thrive in a tree’s shadow. Shade-tolerant grasses thrive in a variety of environments and are suitable for diverse climates.
  • Maintenance—Grasses, like all plants, need varying degrees of care. Lawn care can be time-consuming and difficult.

You may discover a combination of grass species or compatible grasses to boost hardiness at most places, which is a mix of conditions. To make the site conditions more suitable, sow your seed lawn mix or seed an existing sod lawn.

Leave a Comment