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Bahia grass
(Paspalum notatum)


Bahia - illustration  
  • dense rhizomatous grass
  • grows on low fertility and sandy soils
  • but old types are very unpalatable
  • difficult to maintain legumes.


Paspalum notatum Fluegge -
1 habit flowering plant,
2 ligule,
3 spikelet


Bahia grass is a deep-rooted perennial that spreads by short, thick rhizomes to form a dense turf.

Penascola bahia is fairly frost-hardy and has been sold in New South Wales for use on second-grade coastal sandy soils. However, under low fertility conditions, Pensacola is not particularly productive and as stock do not like eating it, it can be regarded almost as a weed grass. It is highly competitive against most legumes and weeds, although Bargoo jointvetch, fine stem stylo and forage peanut can combine.

Pensacola can be useful for high-traffic areas where grazing is not so important, for example on country airstrips.

Competidor and the Argentinian cultivars have broader leaves, larger seeds and more prostrate growth than Pensacola; they are much more palatable,and certainly much better than mat grasses on low fertility soils. Competidor provides good ground cover, but its tight sod is still fairly aggressive against most legumes except Bargoo jointvetch. Competidor produces fewer seed heads than Pensacola. Competidor is fairly tolerant of shade and so may be suitable for agro-forestry in subtropical coastal areas. It is too coarse for fine turf, but makes a good low maintenance turf grass for heavily utilised areas and for roadsides.

Riba is a low-growing turf variety equivalent to a dwarf pensacola.

Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 18 Mar 1998  Revised: 15 January 2003

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