Native to southeast Asia and China, centipede grass (Eremochloa Buse) is a low-lying, slow-growing, medium-textured grass that spreads into an attractive and weed-free, dense turf. This hardy, aggressive grower tolerates more shade than Bermudagrass but less than zoysia and St. Augustine grass. It was introduced in the U.S. in 1916 and became a popular low-maintenance grass. It has several varieties, each developed to overcome the shortfalls of centipede grass.
TifBlair Centipede Grass
Created from the seeds of common centipede grass in Georgia, the University of Georgia released this type of grass in 1997. It overcame most of the disadvantages of the common centipede grass. The seeds are larger than common centipede grass, making them easier to handle. The deep and strong root system of TifBlair enables this grass to tolerate cold, extreme conditions and retain color during the early winter months. This explains its extensive use in mainland United States. Its tall stolons are covered with leaves, thus allowing it to spread and form a dense cover over the ground in a short time. This type of centipede grass is highly tolerant to soil aluminium and acidic soils. Unlike other grasses, TifBlair centipede grass does not spread or invade paved areas or flowerbeds because of its inability to produce underground rhizomes.
Oklawn Centipede Grass
Oklawn centipede grass was released by the Oklahoma State University in 1965 as an improved variety of centipede grass that has superior cold- and drought- tolerance.This slow-growing, vegetatively-propagated variety has a medium texture and bluish-green hue. Besides seeds, Oklawn centipede grass is also started from sprigs, sod or plugs. It is moderately-resistant to insect damage, disease and heat, and withstands full sun or partial shade.
Hammock Centipede Grass
This proprietary type of centipede grass is only distributed or sold by Florida's Environmental Turf, Inc. Renowned for better heat and drought tolerance than most of the other varieties of centipede grass, hammock centipede also exhibits a richer and darker color, thus making it more attractive.
AU Centennial Centipede Grass
Released by the Auburn University in 1983, this type of centipede grass is actually a vegetatively-propagated dwarf variety. This semi-dwarf variety is thicker than the common centipede grass, exhibits richer color and tolerates low temperatures better. Its has shorter seed heads and smaller inter-nodes than other centipede grass varieties, making it a thick, low-growing sod. AU Centennial Centipede grass tolerates soil alkalinity better than common centipede and Oklawn centipede grasses.