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Statewide IPM Program, University of California

Bermudagrass  ( Cynodon dactylon)

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Life stages of Bermudagrass mature plant collar region flowering bermudagrass creeping stems

Bermudagrass is a perennial grass that is frequently used for lawns but also is a troublesome weed in many gardens. The plant grows rapidly when temperatures are warm and moisture is abundant. It grows throughout California, except the Great Basin area, to an elevation of about 2900 ft. (900 m). Bermudagrass invades agricultural crops and other disturbed locations.


Gardens, agronomic crops, orchards, turf, landscaped and forestry areas, and other disturbed sites.


Seedling stems and leaves are similar to those of the mature plants.


The ligule consists of a fringe of short, white hairs. There are no auricles.

Mature plant

Stems are somewhat erect, slightly flattened in cross-section, and branched with long and short internodes (regions between stem joints). Plants form dense mats with spreading, branching, aboveground, horizontally creeping stems (stolons) that root at stem joints (nodes). Leaf blades are flexible, flat, folded or loosely rolled in the bud and usually less than 2-1/3 inches (6 cm) long. They have pointed tips and are hairless to sparsely covered with long, soft hairs.


Flowers bloom from June through September. Flower heads are composed of four (sometimes three) to eight spike-like branches, along which flowers cluster. These branches radiate from a single point on the tip of the flowering stem.


Bermudagrass reproduces by seed and by above and belowground horizontal stems (stolons and rhizomes, respectively).

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