Richard L. Duble, Turfgrass Specialist
Texas Cooperative Extension
Text and images copyright © Richard Duble.

Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) is a warm season perennial grass native to South America and the West Indies. It was introduced into the U.S. in Florida in 1913 as a forage grass. Since that time bahiagrass has been widely used in pastures and along roadsides throughout the southeastern U.S.

Bahiagrass, a prolific seed producer, readily invades lawns and sports fields in areas where the grass is found in nearby pastures and along roadsides. Bahiagrass is especially troublesome in turf because leaf blades are fibrous and difficult to cut cleanly. Leaf tips often appear frayed and give the turf an unkept appearance. Bahiagrass also produces numerous seedstalks that appear unsightly.

Description. Bahiagrass is perhaps best characterized by comparatively short, stout, almost woody, rhizomes and stolons. The rhizomes and stolons are covered with persistent bases of old leaf sheaths, giving them a woody appearance. Leaf blades are long, pointed at the tip, folded at the base and commonly ciliate toward the base. The ligule is membranous, very short with a dense row of hairs in back. Seedstalks terminate in 2, rarely 3, rather long, ascending racemes. Spikelets are solitary, about 3.0 mm long, ovate and green. Seeds are about 3 mm long, 2 mm wide, oval and the back very convex.

Control. Bahiagrass is readily controlled with Scotts DMC Weed Control, a 60 DG product. Apply the product at 0.5 to 0.75 ounces per acre when bahiagrass is actively growing. A repeat application may be made in 4 to 6 weeks if necessary. In centipedegrass turf, two applications of Vantage at 2.25 pints per acre, 10 to 14 days apart will provide good control of bahiagrass.