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PlantFiles: Bermudagrass, Bahamas Grass, Devil's Grass, African Couch, Star Grass, Wire Grass
Cynodon dactylon

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cynodon (SIGH-no-don) (Info)
Species: dactylon (DAK-ty-lon) (Info)

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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2 positives
6 neutrals
9 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative debylutz On Aug 16, 2013, debylutz from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Oh, how I hate this plant. The tiniest piece left in the soil will grow to invade your planting beds.

Positive IslandJim On Apr 25, 2013, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Bermuda grass is great turf for football fields, pastures, parks that get heavy foot traffic. Neither kids nor dogs can wear it out.

Neutral nathanieledison On Apr 24, 2013, nathanieledison from Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I just had to look this up to see if anyone had given it a positive rating, kudos to you!

Of course I hate this terrible plant as it looks yellow-brown-green and extremely messy during the growing season, but used wisely, it definitely makes for an easy-care lawn. That is if it's surrounded by at least 30 feet of solid metal steel to keep it from spreading. But I'd never give it a negative rating, plants are people too!

Negative nel5397 On Jul 24, 2011, nel5397 from Groveland, FL wrote:

The stuff is basically extra fancy crabgrass. The flowers, the leaves and the runners are basically 1/5 the size of crabgrass.The only major difference is that bermuda grass is perenial.

Neutral purplesun On Sep 29, 2009, purplesun from Krapets
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

This grass is native to Southern Europe, including Bulgaria. Therefore I can't really give it a negative rating, though it truly can be a nuisance. It grows where other grasses won't grow, and once it has taken hold of a site, it hardly lets go. I guess it would make a good, durable lawn. If only it didn't grow as aggressively. I guess I have to learn to live with it.

Negative dach On Sep 13, 2009, dach from Hixson, TN wrote:

I hate bermuda grass!!! I hate bermuda grass!!! I hate bermuda grass!!! I hate bermuda grass!!! EEEEEEEUUUUUUK!!! The only thing that this grass is good for is.............. Nothing. I have had no luck killing this stuff. Round-up, tilling, hand pulling... nothing works! The only thing that I found that I can do is slow it down. That is relatively speaking. Good luck getting rid of your muda grass. I am planning on trying a sod cutter and taking a couple of passes. Surely that will be more effective, but I am still sure that it will still leave some that will show up like an uninvited in-law.

Neutral frostweed On Dec 19, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Bermudagrass, Bahamas Grass, Devil's Grass, African Couch, Star Grass, Wire Grass Cynodon dactylon is naturalized in Texas and other Tates ans is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Negative Jaimee On Aug 10, 2006, Jaimee from Farmington, MI wrote:

This weed is also called "Devil's Grass" because it is such an evil weed.

It can grow 4 feet tall and wide out of a dime sized hole in your ground cover...and it spreads like wildfire. I first noticed it in our yard and garden just a little over the month ago, and made the mistake of ignoring it. It has taken over. I'm sure it will take me years to get rid of it, if I even can get rid of it.

It's trademark is the star-shaped formation of its spread fingers.

Bermuda grass (aka "Devil's Grass) is like an out-of-control cornstalk that falls over and spreads, rooting from its stalks, roots, and seeds.

The only thing I've found that kills it is Round-Up. If you have this weed, start buying Round-Up by the case. You'll need it.

Negative DawnRain On Mar 15, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

On the golf course it is super. In the pasture ok. Doesn't seem to interfere with my bahia pasture except in drought. Then it will take over. In the yard, not speaking of what I call coastal, but plain old hateful bermuda. I prefer pulling the bahia out of the garden. At least you can get rid of it.

Neutral NativePlantFan9 On Mar 14, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a very popular attractive lawn grass. I like the feel and it's look as a lawn. It is very good for tolerance of wear and tear when driven over or being continually run upon or sat upon.

Bermudagrass is very popular for lawns in much of the United States, especially in much of the central and southern U.S. interior states. It is hardy from zones 5a through 11. It is very popular in Florida; a variety of Bermudagrass, known as 'Coastal Hay' or Coastal Bermudagrass, is the most popular forage and hay crop for cows in Florida. The 'Coastal Hay' variety is hardy in zones 8a through 11, at least. Both are popular for lawns and landscaping projects.

However, one major drawback of Bermudagrass is it's invasiveness. It can quickly spread over a large area and invade planting beds and take over.

Neutral jcangemi On Nov 15, 2004, jcangemi from Clovis, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

In the San Joaquin Valley, this is the lawn of choice, withstands heat of this valley, can withstand heavy activity and is used in many schoolyards. Hybrid bermuda makes a nicer lawn with same plusses. Drawback as noted by all comments, very invasive if not kept in check by concrete curbing and regular edging and even then, once a crack develops can escape into flower beds. My experience is that it can be as invasive as bamboo and mint. . both a real pain if they invade where you don't want them. . .almost impossible to irradicate once established. . though I prefer not to use chemicals. . .careful applications of Roundup will get rid of it where you don't want it. Solarization will knock it down to a manageable level as well for large areas.

Negative puppyhuskey On Nov 13, 2004, puppyhuskey from Gig Harbor, WA wrote:

used as lawn grass everywhere in phoenix, glendale and other surrounding areas. sure it survives arizona's heat with some water, but it is soooo invasive. you can never eradicate it if you want to. i would not advise using it. i am not sure where it is native.

Negative cherishlife On Nov 12, 2004, cherishlife from Pocola, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is one of the most invasive plants I have ever seen. Unfortunately, it's used all too often to start lawns, including my own.

Positive TREEHUGR On Jul 29, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I think Bermuda deserves a positive rating. I think this is absolute wonder-grass. If you are in Florida, I highly recommend this grass over all the other types. It is a lush, dark green color and grows in full in most cases without excessive care or fertilizer.

I moved from up north and I love how this grass has the look of cool season grasses. This grass is also is great because it will overtake bahiagrass, which is horrible grass, but unfortunately it is widely planted in new construction by frugal home builders who don't care. It is inexpensive to replace a lawn with bermuda because it is available in seed. It is also durable for high traffic.

I have seen bermuda planted and thriving as far south as miami (It probably keeps going).

As for it being an invasive weed, it definitely is but I am thankful for it. If it wasn't for this stuff spreading to my lawn, I wouldn't have ever thought to use it. Does it sprout up in flower beds? You bet, but so does bahia and bermuda is a lot easier to remove than bahia which has miserably deep roots! Just use care when planting seeds. It may spread to your neighbors' and can overtake st.augustine. But hey, you will both have awsome lawns! Recommened for Florida,and in full sun only. I can't speak for other states, but don't know why you'd want to plant it when you can have cool season grasses anyway. Spot test in a small area to see if you like it. To let it overtake a bahiagrass lawn, get started early in summer or late spring. 2 or 3 applications of seed and weekly mowing at 1 inch will rid you of bahia by fall (if applicable). To use less seed, but take longer, cut small circles in existing grass, place seed and watch it spread. Don't forget to mow short.

Negative Kelli On Apr 22, 2003, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Definitely invasive. My experience is that it does much better in flower beds and vegetable gardens than in lawns.

Neutral Dinu On Apr 16, 2003, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

I don't think anybody 'grows' them: it grows on its own! It grows too quickly to one's liking and spreads wildly all over. That is why I hate this, though it is useful for walkways. Can tolerate hot summers.

Negative Terry On Apr 16, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A warm-season perennial grass that spreads via runners and by dispersing seed. Very difficult to keep out of garden beds, making it an unwelcome weed in my yard. The only redeeming feature I see is that it is a very tough turf grass, able to withstand kids and pets romping on it.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Glendale, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Waddell, Arizona
Canoga Park, California
Clovis, California
Cypress, California
Fontana, California
Long Beach, California
San Diego, California
Santa Rosa, California
Bartow, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Venice, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Louisville, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Farmington, Michigan
Livonia, Michigan
Mathiston, Mississippi
Kansas City, Missouri
Roswell, New Mexico
Owasso, Oklahoma (2 reports)
Conway, South Carolina
Lebanon, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Grand Prairie, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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