Seashore Paspalum (Vaginatum) is generally described as
a perennial graminoid.
native to the U.S. (United States)
has its most active growth period in the
The greatest bloom is usually observed in the
with fruit and seed production starting in the
summer and continuing until
not retained year to year.
Seashore Paspalum (Vaginatum) has a
moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a
moderate growth rate.
Seashore Paspalum (Vaginatum) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by
It has a
moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have
Note that cold stratification is
not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below
none tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.
Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.
Seashore paspalum is used as a forage food for cattle and horses. It is grazed from March to November and the green stolons are eaten during the winter months. It is also used by wild geese for feed.
Paspalum vaginatum is used in commercial and residential landscaping. This plant has been very successful for golf courses all around the world, especially in the coastal states and in other areas near brackish or high saline waters. It is considerably more salt tolerant than other standard golf course turf so it can be irrigated with salt water, which saves an enormous amount of money used in the desalinization of the water used for irrigation. Because seashore paspalum grows low to the ground,
it has a high tolerance for traffic and wear. It grows rapidly which provides a thick turf and competes against weeds when maintained properly.
Paspalum vaginatum has other important uses such as erosion control, wetland restorations, and site reclamation on oil and gas well sites.
General: Grass Family (Poaceae). Seashore paspalum is a native, warm season, creeping perennial. Culms are erect, smooth at the nodes and range in heights of 1-7.9 dm. Sheaths are glabrous, overlapping and scantily pubescent apically. Blades range in lengths of 2.5–15 cm and in widths of 3 –8 mm, which may be flat or folded inward length wise. Blades are mostly glabrous having a sparse amount of long hairs located on the top surface close to the base. Ligules are 1-2 mm in length. Racemes are usually in numbers of 2-3 and range in lengths of 1.1-7.9 cm. They are erect and spreading at maturity. Axes are winged, smooth, 1-2 mm wide and have scabrous margins. Spikelets are solitary, glabrous, elliptic to ovate-lanceolate, faint-stramineous in color, 3-4.5 mm long and 1.1-2 mm wide. First glume seldom developed, usually absent. The second glume and sterile lemma are 3-nerved with the nerves suppressed. The fertile floret is comose and white in color. The caryopsis is yellow and is approximately 3 mm long.
Required Growing Conditions
For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Adaptation Seashore paspalum inhabits brackish sand areas and saline areas along the coasts that stretch from North Carolina down to Florida and over to Texas. It is found as far south as Argentina and in the warm regions of the Eastern Hemisphere. It is suited for compacted inorganic marsh soils of average salinity and flourishes when water levels are fluctuated between 2 inches above the surface to 6 inches below the soil surface. However, it can withstand more than 2 inches of water above the soil surface during the winter season.
Cultivation and Care
It is propagated asexually using stolons and rhizomes. Since seeds are seldom available, seashore paspalum is available in sprigs, plugs and sod.
For optimum results, plant 3 bushels of sprigs per 1000 square feet during late spring or summer. It prefers a pH above 6.0 and should be mowed after the first 60-90 days after planting.
General Upkeep and Control
In managing Seashore paspalum for forage it is recommended that less than 50% of the present year’s production by weight be grazed. In addition, a 90-day suspension of grazing is implemented to improve the strength of the crop and to obtain a forage reserve. Overgrazing is usually not a problem because this forage grows flat on the ground.
In managing Seashore paspalum for landscape or golf courses, a low level of Nitrogen, about 3 to 4 pounds per 1000 square feet per year, is recommended. Fertilizer should be applied during the fall to prevent scalping. Studies have proven that it produces higher shoot densities when mowed at lower heights. This in turn provides a better playing surface and an attractive appearance.
Seashore paspalum is considered invasive to the Hapuna Golf Course in Hawaii where they are using Bermuda grasses. Seashore paspalum is out-competing their established Bermuda turf. They will be conducting a three-year study on how to get seashore paspalum off their course. Seashore paspalum is vulnerable to insects, such as armyworms and webworms eating and damaging the foliage.
Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA