BERMUDAGRASS, Cynodon dactylon
(L.) Pers. 1, plant; 2, spikelets; 3, seed. Perennial,
reproducing by seed (although rarely in our region), rhizomes, and stolons.
Rhizomes hard, scaly, sharp-pointed, forming dense heavy sod. Stolons
flat, hairless, extensively creeping, bearing at each joint the dead, bladeless
sheaths that make the "dog's teeth" giving the plant its Latin name (Cynodon--dog's
tooth). Flowering stems erect or ascending, 6 to 18 inches (15 to
45 cm) tall. Leaf blades 1/8 inch (3 mm) wide, gray-green, slightly
hairy or glabrous except for a fringe of long hair at edge just above collar;
sheath sparsely hairy or hairless, strongly flattened, ligule a ring of
white hairs. Flowers borne in "finger branched" inflorescence of
3 to 7, usually 5, parts. Spikelets in 2 rows tightly appressed to rachis.
Seeds resemble those of timothy. Found in open places, pastures,
and most cropped areas. A very persistent weed when established, it seems
to have entered our territory primarily in nursery stock or by being sown
as a lawn; is definitely spreading northward.