Bermudagrass – Common vs Hybrid

Q: How can you tell if you have common or hybrid bermudagrass?

A: Even an expert would have a hard time telling them apart if presented with just a blade or two.

The difference is most obvious to me when a patch of bermudagrass is allowed to grow un-mown for a week. Common bermudagrass will quickly send up seedheads that stand above the level of grass leaves. Hybrid bermudagrass will send up fewer seed heads.

Dr. Wayne Hanna, a USDA grass geneticist in Tifton says that one way to tell them apart is to tap a seed head from each onto a piece of black paper. Common bermudagrass will release a tiny yellow cloud of pollen on the paper. Hybrid bermudagrass is sterile, it does not produce pollen.

My personal observation is that if you can see the two growing near each other, the hybrid grass will have a deeper green color when compared to the common type.

Tifgreen 328 seems to be more prone to seedhead production than Tifway 419. Tifgreen is very common in residential lawns.

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