A wide selection of St Augustine grass cultivars is available on the market. The wide selection brings about versatility. Some cultivars, such as Bitterblue, ProVista and CitraBlue, will do well in partial shade, while Floratam needs full sun. Many people would like the option to purchase St. Augustine and found out that seeds are not available on the market. Many people are informed that St Augustine grass seeds are not viable and cannot grow.

Did you know that seeds from some St Augustine cultivars are viable and will grow? Cultivars such as Palmetto, Raleigh, and Seville, produce very viable seeds. CitraBlue, Floratam, and ProVista seeds have poor fertility.

Why Augustine grass seeds not sold in stores?  The seed yield is low, which would make the seed price extremely high. Getting the seed production high enough would significantly detract from appearance or aesthetic value. The seeds, which are born on a spike, are embedded in a corky-type material, making it very difficult to clean the seed.

Did you know that it’s not accurate to say that all Floratam St Augustine stolon/runner is purple?  Using the color of the stolon is not an excellent way to identify Floratom.  According to Dr. Kevin Kenworthy (UF/IFAS Turfgrass Breeder), the appearance of St Augustine stolon can vary significantly due to environment, nutrition, disease, shade, drought stress, and age of stolon. A St Augustine grass that is exposed to sunlight will have a more purple stolon, while those with less exposure will have a greener stolon.

Did you know using the grass seed head/ inflorescence is more accurate for grass identification? This approach is more complicated but more reliable. Contributions made to this article came from Dr. Kevin Kenworthy, a UF/IFAS Extension Plant breeder.

For more information on turfgrasses or other related horticulture topics, contact Grantly Ricketts, UF/IFAS Extension Commercial Agent in St Lucie County. Grantly can be reached at gricketts@ufl.edu or by phone at 772-462-2847.

by Grantly Ricketts

Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert

Note: All images and contents are the property of UF/IFAS.



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