BERMUDA GRASS- Cynodon dactylon
DESCRIPTION: A wiry, spreading perennial which reproduces by seeds, but mostly by means of long runners on top of the ground. Also by a vast system of hard, sharp-pointed rhizomes beneath the ground which may be shallow or very deep. The leaves on the erect stems are 1 to 4 inches long, while those on the runners and rhizomes are very short, scaly, and not leaflike. Roots are formed at the joints, and frequent erect, flowering stalks are produced, about 4 to 18 inches high. These have 3 to 5 very narrow fingerlike flowering spikes at the tip. The tiny stalkless spikelets slightly overlap one another, and are arranged in two rows on just one side of the spike axis. The tiny, oval grain is orange red, reddish brown, or straw colored.
DISTRIBUTION: Bermuda grass is one of the most pernicious weeds throughout the state, and is very alkali-resistant. It grows almost any place in cities, waste places, and roadsides-wherever there is moisture. It even occurs in sandy washes of out-of-the-way canyons; usually below 6,000 feet elevation; flowering from May until November.
This troublesome weed is very hard to eradicate when it becomes established in flower beds, non-cultivated crops, and fields, and its pollen is one of the most serious sources of hay fever in the state. However, it is the most common summer lawn grass in southern Arizona. It cannot stand freezing temperatures, shade, or frequent cultivation, but can tolerate indefinite periods of drought. Around Yuma, large fields are grown as seed crops.
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