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Turfgrass Identification. Richard Miller Blackhawk Technical College. Introduction . Approx. 10,000 species worldwide, 190 species in 64 genera in Wisconsin. 5 desirable grasses thrive as aggressive and attractive “ground covers” in this northern cool humid region of the United States

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turfgrass identification

Turfgrass Identification

Richard Miller

Blackhawk Technical College

R. Miller

introduction
Introduction
  • Approx. 10,000 species worldwide, 190 species in 64 genera in Wisconsin.
  • 5 desirable grasses thrive as aggressive and attractive “ground covers” in this northern cool humid region of the United States
  • Primary to Understanding/Managing Turf we Must be able to Identify these 5Common GRASSES

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frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are our Choices?
  • What Do We Need to Know to Get Started?
  • Do we need any equipment?
  • What is the procedure?

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what are our choices
What are our choices?
  • How a Botanist would classify (Taxonomy)…

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what do we need to get started
What Do We Need to Get Started?
  • A Close-up view

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do we need any equipment
Do we need any Equipment?

A Magnifying Glass Could Be Helpful

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overview
Overview

Rhizomes

Auricles

Ligules

  • There will be differences in how these parts appear or whether they appear or not.

Stolons

Leaf Tip

Vernation

Sheath

Collar

Midrib

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kentucky bluegrass poa pratensis14
Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
  • Boat Shaped Tip
  • Folded vernation
  • Ligule: Short, Membranous (Lacking)
  • 2 Transparent Lines Along Midrib
  • Rhizomes
  • Auricles absent
  • Collar Broad & Divided

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vocabulary
Vocabulary
  • Glossary of terms

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perennial ryegrass lolium perenne19
Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne)
  • Pointed Tip, shiny backside to Blade
  • Folded Vernation
  • Ligule: Short, Membranous
  • Auricle: Small, Claw-like, or Absent
  • Broad, Divided Collar
  • Bunch Type ( no Stolons or Rhizomes)

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fine fescues hard creeping red chewings festuca ssp
Fine Fescues (hard,creeping red, chewings); Festuca ssp.
  • Tip is narrow, blade is fine
  • Folded Vernation
  • Ligule: very small membranous
  • Auricles: absent
  • No collar
  • Bunch Type ex. Creeping may have Rhizomes

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tall fescue festuca arundinacea23
Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea)
  • Broad leaf blade , prominent veins on upper surface
  • Rolled vernation
  • Membranous Ligule
  • Small Auricles
  • Collar is very broad and conspicuous
  • Bunch type, may have small rhizomes

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bentgrass agrostis ssp
Bentgrass (Agrostis ssp.)
  • Tip pointed, prominent veination
  • Rolled vernation
  • Membranous Ligule(.5mm-2mm)
  • Auricle: absent
  • Narrow, broad oblique collar on Creeping bent.-none on Colonial
  • Creeping=stolons
  • Colonial=bunch, tufted, very short stolons & rhizomes may be present

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answers
Answers
  • Perennial Ryegrass
  • Fine Fescue
  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Tall Fescue
  • Creeping Bentgrass

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some useful shortcuts
Some Useful Shortcuts
  • Expect fine textures to be either Fescues or Bentgrasses…Fescues are more shade tolerant, Bentgrasses are very aggressive and are not very shade tolerant
  • The most likely (non-weed) Rhizomatous grass will be Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Using a process of “likely elimination”- you are possibly going to decide between Tall Fescue and Perennial Rye (both are bunch grasses) when vernation (Per. Rye is folded) and leaf blade (Per. Rye has a shiny backside) are the differences.

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summary
Summary
  • We have learned that there are distinct differences in grass plant morphology if we look close enough
  • Knowing the correct identity of our turfgrasses helps us properly manage our lawns, parks and sportsturf and/or advise our clients
  • Practice, Practice, Practice…Correct identification requires repetition

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where to get more information
Where to Get More Information
  • Blackhawk Technical College- Landscape and Turf Services Program
  • Books: i.e. Fundamentals of Turfgrass Management by Dr. Nick Christians; Turfgrass Management, latest edit. By A.J. Turgeon; Turfgrass Science and Management by Robert Emmons
  • Trade Publication articles
  • Electronic sources: i.e. www.sportsturfmanager.org
  • University of Wisconsin – Extension Publications

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