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St. Augustine Grass Stenotaphrum secundatum

Previously known as:

  • Ischaemum secundatum
Phonetic Spelling
sten-oh-TAF-rum see-kun-DAY-tum
Description

St. Augustine Grass is a spreading turfgrass that is native to the southeastern U.S.A. as well as South America and Africa.  Originating along the Atlantic Ocean, it can be found along sandy beaches, Swamp and lagoons edges, island streams, lakes, marshes and along roadsides. 

It is commonly used as pasture grass and also grown as a lawn. This plant is heat tolerant and mildly drought tolerant. There are many cultivars of this plant available. This plant spreads by rhizomes and if used as lawn grass, will rarely need mowing. It is sold by turf or plugs and rarely propagates by seed.

Its dense, tight structure makes it resistant to weed infestation.  It's known to improve soil structure, enhance water infiltration rates and also increases the soils' water retention capacity.  It can also be used as a ground cover under trees to promote soil conservation.  When placed on slopes, it will serve as a form of erosion control.  

Grown as a lawn, it will grow in most soils that are found in the southern states.  It has a high shade tolerance, making it a better choice than other southern grasses.  Typically grown in full sun, it will tolerate full shade and semi-shaded locations.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Spreading by stolons or runners, it can expand into unwanted locations.  Its wear tolerance is low.  Not recommended for use in high traffic locations such as a sports field.  Its drought tolerance is low, it will lose its color under dry conditions.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Coastal Rain Garden Coastal Foundation Garden Coastal Foundation- Tropical
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#salt tolerant#salt spray tolerant#NC native#tropical perennials#creeping#warm-season grass#frost tolerant#weed control#warm climates#groundcover#grass-like#native groundcover#native ornamental grass#food source herbage#Coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#bird friendly#groundcovers that can be mowed#mammals#turfgrass#Audubon#tropical#dry soils intolerant#forage#drought intolerant#lawn planting#native#mat forming#lawn#grass
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#salt tolerant#salt spray tolerant#NC native#tropical perennials#creeping#warm-season grass#frost tolerant#weed control#warm climates#groundcover#grass-like#native groundcover#native ornamental grass#food source herbage#Coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#bird friendly#groundcovers that can be mowed#mammals#turfgrass#Audubon#tropical#dry soils intolerant#forage#drought intolerant#lawn planting#native#mat forming#lawn#grass
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Stenotaphrum
    Species:
    secundatum
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Lawns, forage
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern U.S.A., South America, Africa
    Distribution:
    AL, CA, FL, GA, HI, LA, MO, MS, NC, NM, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Perennial
    Turfgrass
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Dense
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11a, 11b, 12b, 12a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are available August-November.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers bloom July-October. They form in an inflorescence where the short stems of the flower are sunken into pockets on one or both sides of the central axis.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The dark green, narrow leaves have a hairy ligule, a strap-shaped membrane scale on the inner side of the leaf sheath at its junction with the blade. The blades are broad and flat.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The stems branch from numerous nodes.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Slope/Bank
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat
    Humidity
    Poor Soil
    Salt
    Problems:
    Weedy