Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.

Bermuda grass

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Bermuda grass is probably native to East Africa, but can now be found throughout the temperate and subtropical regions of the world. It is tolerant of a wide range of rainfall levels and soil types, often forming dense stands. In New England it is found in Connecticut and Massachusetts in fields, roadsides and disturbed areas.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
Leaf blade width
1–5 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
2–3.2 mm
Glume relative length
neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
Awn on glume
the glume has no awn
One or more florets
there is one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
0 mm
Leaf ligule length
0.2–0.6 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Glume relative length
    neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
    Glume veins
    • 1
    • 3
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    • the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence length
    Up to 60 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched and the branches all grow from the same side of the plant and look like spikes
    Lemma awn base
    NA
    Lemma awn length
    0 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has no awn
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is V-shaped if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma tip
    the lemma tip is a simple point, with or without an awn (long narrow extension ending in a point)
    Lemma vein number
    • 1
    • 3
    One or more florets
    there is one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Spikelet length
    2–3.2 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
  • Growth form
    Horizontal rooting stem
    yes
    Rhizomes
    • no
    • yes
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    1–5 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0.2–0.6 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane with fine hairs
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    Leaf sheath hairs
    • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    • there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Stem spacing
    • the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts
    • the stems grow singly or a few together (they may form diffuse colonies)

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. dactylon

Massachusetts
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Digitaria ischaemum:
plants without stolons, ligules a membrane 0.6-2.5 mm long, and lemmas not keeled (vs. C. dactylon, with plants stoloniferous, ligules a band of hairs up to 0.5 mm long, and lemmas keeled).

Synonyms

  • Cynodon aristiglumis Caro & E.A. Sánchez

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Cynodon

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Our variety is Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. var. dactylon.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. var. dactylon E

Bermuda grass. Cynodon aristiglumis Caro & E.A. Sánchez • CT, MA. Fields, roadsides, waste areas.