Better Pastures for the Tropics - banner

Creeping bluegrass
(Bothriochloa insculpta)

  • productive and persistent
  • medium to low fertility soils
  • prefers clay soils
  • slow to establish
  • long runners, but Hatch roots poorly
  • fluffy seed can be difficult to sow.

Creeping bluegrass grows well on moderately drained loams and clays, but may not persist on sandy soils. It forms erect shoots but spreads by horizontal runners under an annual rainfall of 850-1100 mm. The leaves and stems have a strong characteristic scent when crushed, but are moderately palatable and do not taint milk.

Being tolerant of low nitrogen, bluegrass has survived on poor soils where green panic and rhodes grass have died out, but it will respond well to extra nitrogen. The seed establishes more reliably on heavy cracking-clay soils than other small-seeded grasses.

Hatch is a late-flowering variety that has naturalised on clay soils north of Rockhampton; it has bluish green foliage and, although it sends out long runners, they root poorly from the nodes, and often recede to the origianl crowns.

Bisset is a newer introduction. The leaves are more green coloured than Hatch, and it is slightly less vigorous. However, Bisset sends out many more fine runners which root well, forming rooted nodal plantlets. These plantlets survive frosts giving a more stable ground cover. Bisset flowers about two weeks later than Hatch (early May compared to late April).

Hatch is probably most suitable for medium fertility flats and Bisset for hill slopes.

Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 03 April 1998  Revised: 15 January 2003

Better Pastures home page