Durva grass/Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is a perennial turfgrass and native to the Mediterranean region. It is widely used as lawn and pasture grass and for golf courses.
Durva grass is just another name of Bermuda grass in India. It is also known by other names as Devil’s grass, Bahama grass, Scutch grass, Wiregrass, Couch grass, and Indian Doab.
In addition to the use of durva grass as lawn turf and pasture grass, it has many uses in the medicinal world. It is widely used in medicines of sugar control, menstrual problems, boost immunity, obesity and constipation control, and curing eye infections.
Hundreds of grass species exist in the world and it needs technical knowledge to differentiate one grass from another. But it is much difficult for a newbie to identify the durva grass.
Most grasses have similar growth patterns and appearance in terms of blade length and color. That’s why I build this guide on the identification of durva grass/ Bermuda grass. I hope that this guide will help you to identify the bermudagrass.
Let’s get started.
Distribution of Durva grass/Bermuda grass
Bermuda/Durva grass has originated around the Indian Ocean Basin, from East Africa to India. In India, this grass is known as Durva grass and has medicinal uses in this region.
Durva grass was later introduced to other regions to all tropical and subtropical areas. Durva grass can be found at high altitudes of 2600 in the tropics and 4000 m in the Himalayas.
Growth pattern of Durva grass
Durva/Bermuda grass is a common grass plant of lawns, pastures, and grasslands. It is commonly found on roadsides and sandy dunes.
In the US, bermudagrass grows in the regions having an average annual temperature ranging between 6-28 degrees celsius. While the optimal daily temperature for Durva grass is 17-35 degrees C.
Bermuda grass stops growth under 15 degrees C while falling temperatures below -2 to -3 might get the grass killed.
The natural creeping growth of durva grass by stolons and rhizomes helps in the recovery of grass, affected by the extremely low temperatures.
Identification of Durva grass/Bermuda grass
Durva grass has a very unique appearance and growth pattern and such factors help to differentiate this grass among others. Here are some identifications of Durva grass:
- Short Leaf-blades
Durva grass/Bermuda grass has grey-green colored blades and is short in height. The blades are 2-15 cm long with rough edges.
- Flattened Stem
The stems of Bermuda grass plants are slightly flattened and often tinged purple in color. It can grow up to 1-30 cm in height.
- Seed Heads
Bermuda grass has a unique characteristic of producing seed heads under drought conditions. These seeds help Bermuda grass survive even in stressful conditions.
The seed’s heads are produced in cluster forms of two to six spikes together at the top of the stem. Each spike is 2-5 cm long.
Some biotypes of Bermuda grass produce numerous seeds.
- White hairs on the blade
The presence of white hairs at the point of leaf emergence from leaf stalk is the major difference between Durva grass to other grasses.
- Deep Root system
Bermuda/Durva grass has a deep root system that can grow to over 2 meters depth. The durva grass creeps over the ground with its stolons and rhizomes and the nodes touch the ground forming the new roots.
Durva grass is an invasive specie
Durva grass is a highly aggressive grass species and crowds out the other grasses. The major problem of invasive Durva grass is to eradicate it completely. But it can be controlled somewhat with Glyphosate, Triclopyr.
Durva grass is named Devil grass, Why?
Durva/Bermuda grass is named Devil grass due to its highly invasive nature. It is incredibly difficult for gardeners to get rid of bermudagrass in their flower beds.
It is much more offensive to control it in flower beds but some herbicides might work.
Which type of climate is good for Durva grass?
Durva/Bermuda grass grows best in warm climates. It is commonly found in the southern half of the US and in warm climates.
It needs 625-1750 mm annual rainfall but low moisture levels of 550 mm due to the presence of deep root systems and rhizomes.
Ideal soil conditions for Durva grass/ Bermuda grass
Durva grass grows best in deep, well-drained soils. But it has been well adapted to a wide range of soils. The optimal pH range of soils to grow Durva grass is 4.3 to 5.5 but can grow in soils having >8.4 pH.
Durva is well known for its saline tolerance and has the ability to grow on coastal areas and irrigated lands.
Responses of Durva grass to environmental changes
Durva grass has less tolerance to shades and is highly sensitive to shade. It could die under the medium and dense shades.
Additionally, the durva grass is much sensitive to pests and diseases including leaf spots, parasites, and rust diseases.