Lumpy lawn of Korean grass - Knowledgebase Question

Spruce, MI
Question by WWSOPER
March 25, 2000
ON A RECENT TRIP TO SAN DIEGO we noticed a grass that was variously identified as 'buffalo' 'Korean' 'bunching'. It was short, not requiring mowing, a light bright green. It was in a parkway and had a thick thatch, and would bunch into a 'lumpy' texture. Do you have any idea what kind of grass it is, and would it be suitable for zone four?

Answer from NGA
March 25, 2000


The grass you saw is most likely Korean grass, or Zoysia tenuifolia. More of a ground cover than lawn grass, it's only hardy in USDA Zones 9 through 10. The thick thatch, lumpy growth you describe is very characteristic.

There is a native American grass called buffalo grass, or Buchloe dactyloides. This is a perennial bunching grass hardy to USDA zone 4 and grown in many parts of the nation. It's reasonably care-free, requiring little water or maintenance, and spreads rapidly by surface runners once the plants become established.

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