How to Identify St. Augustine Grass

Overview

Crabgrass, carpetgrass, gramillion, wiregrass or St. Augustine grass--call it what you’d like, depending upon your location. St. Augustine grass is a perennial, warm-season grass that grows in specific areas. In the United States, it is limited to the Gulf Coast region, Florida and the coastal regions of southern California. Half the battle of identifying St. Augustine grass is knowing where to look for it, and then finding a few key traits in its growth pattern and appearance.

Step 1

Inspect the color of the grass. Look for blades of grass that have a deep, blue-green hue.

Step 2

Study the structure of the leaf blades. Note that St. Augustine leaf blades are usually folded, are wide and coarse, have no auricles and are smooth and round at the tip, giving them a boatlike appearance.

Step 3

Examine the structure of the leaf sheath, which on St. Augustine grass is flattened.

Step 4

Look for stolons, which are generally compressed, not rhizomes.

Step 5

Inspect the ligules (the projection at the bottom of a leaf blade.) Look for a fringe of hairs to locate the ligules.

Step 6

Count the spikeletes, which will vary from 1 to 3 on the racemes.

Step 7

Study its growth habit, which is a creeping growth habit for St. Augustine grass.

References

  • Texas Cooperative Extension: St. Augustine Grass
  • University of California: St. Augustine Grass
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About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.