Turf grasses vary widely in their texture, color and appearance. Different grasses have different temperature and care requirements, but they also vary in the size and shape of the grass blades. This difference in the individual blades can make one lawn look quite different from the next.
Grasses that have very fine, thin blades of grass create a soft, luxurious feel in a landscape. While beautiful, they are also the least hardy of all the grasses. Creeping bent grass (Agrostis stolonifera) has a fine texture, as do some varieties of Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon). In fact, the thinnest blades of grass come from three Bermuda varieties that are usually only found in upscale golf courses.
Grasses with medium-width blades offer the best of both worlds: They are usually somewhat hardy, do not run and also present a pleasing appearance. These grasses are commonly used in home lawns. Many of the fescues (Festuca sp.) have single, medium-width blades, including the popular red fescue. Centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides) has medium-sized blades and can thrive even in poor soil, but it cannot tolerate cold temperatures.
Grasses with broad blades are often called "coarse" grasses because the texture of the lawn feels coarse. These hardy, low-maintenance grasses are a good choice for ground cover in hard-to-grow areas or when an economic choice is needed. Varieties of St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) are popular in the south. The blades of this grass are broad and blunt at the tip. It is also fast growing, hardy, and will quickly spread to fill bare areas. Carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis) has wide blades with round tips and grows well even in shady areas.