The different types of Bermuda Grass

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Thinking of setting up a lush home lawn or planning to upgrade a golf course? You might have already decided to use Bermuda Grass because of its high tolerance to pests and diseases, foot traffic, harsh weather conditions, plus it produces a dense turf and looks remarkably rich green in color. 
Common Bermuda Grass 
Common Bermuda Grass 
Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, flickr, cc by 2.0 
But which type of Bermuda Grass would be the best for you? It after all depends on your location, climate, soil type and the amount of time you can invest on its maintenance. There are over 50 different types of Bermuda Grass that are cultivated around the world, and you need to understand characteristics of some of the most popular types before you choose one that can best fit your requirements. 

Bermuda Grass: The Broad Classification

There are two broad types of Bermuda Grass: The Seeded Bermuda Grass and the Hybrid Bermuda Grass. Within each broad type, there are several different varieties. 

Seeded Bermuda Grass

This type of Bermuda grass can be planted and easily grown from its seeds. You need to use 2-3 pounds of seeds per 1000 square feet of soil. You can expect a "Medium Plus" turf grass. The quality and variety depends on the seed. 
Bermuda grass seeds are generally hulled and coated. As a result the natural protective layer of the seeds get removed. This speeds up the germination process. The coating is done using a combination of fungicide and dye. The raw Bermuda seeds that are unhulled may take months to sprout. For germination, Bermuda seed beds need sufficient amount of water. Once germinated, Bermuda grass generally requires very simple care, mowing and maintenance
The Common Bermuda Grass that are available in many seeded varieties, has become extremely popular all over the US mainly because it is usually drought resistant, can tolerate high foot traffic, requires low maintenance and can easily grow on different soil types. 
Read How to seed Bermuda Grass to know all about the right process of seeding Bermuda Grass and get a perfect lawn.  
The seeded varieties are mostly Common Bermuda Grass. Blackjack, Cheyenne, Jackpot, U-3, Santa Ana, Ormond and Yuma are few examples of Common Bermuda Grass. Over the past several years, many improved varieties of Common Bermuda have been created which are discussed separately below. 

Hybrid Bermuda Grass

As the name suggests, the hybrid varieties are a cross. They are created by mix breeding Common Bermuda Grass with another species (usually African Bermuda). They produce wonderful thick green patches of turf with thin leaves. And the hybrids tend to be more disease resistant due their genetic changes. But unlike Common Bermuda, the Hybrids do not usually produce seeds. They are available in the following forms: 
  • Sods - These are cut-outs of existing grass beds and have patches of the grass along with a layer of soil below which is held by the root system. Sods usually come in sizes such as 3 square feet. You can also get Rolls  (e.g.. 10 square feet each) and even Pallets (e.g. 450 square feet each). 
  • Plugs - These are usually 2 to 4-inch chunks of sod that may be round or square in shape, and are produced using seedlings that are grown on trays. 
  • Sprigs - These are 3 to 6-inch pieces of grass runners (stems) without soil. 
    Hybrid Bermuda Grass (Tifway) 
    Hybrid Bermuda Grass (Tifway) 
    Photo: cultivar413, flickr, cc by 2.0 
    Hybrid Bermuda Grass varieties include Tif varieties (such as Tifway-I, Tifway 419, Tifway-II, Tifgreen, Tifeagle) and Sunturf etc. All these hybrid varieties are mostly used in sods.  
    Go through Hybrid Bermuda to know about different types of hybrid Bermuda grasses and their use. 

    Main differences between the two broad types

    The Common Bermuda Grass (the seeded varieties) are light green in color and have a coarse texture. It's a loosely netted turf grass with low shoot density. Although the hybrid varieties have higher density, Common Bermuda Grass has more nutritional value that help developing forage or pastures ideal for domestic animals.  
    The Common Bermuda Grass is mostly used in roadsides or reclamation sites, the improved varieties of Common Bermuda are also used in lawns, but not as much in play grounds or golf courses where hybrids are mostly used. But, Hybrids are costlier and require more extensive maintenance than the Common Bermuda. 

    Common Bermuda Grass Varieties

    Common Bermuda Grass is known to have high insect and disease tolerance. Because of their extensive root system, they are also drought tolerant. They are well adapted to coastal conditions too. In general, they can be established fast, the growth is dense and the cost of seed is relatively cheaper... this makes it a popular choice for lawns as well as pastures. 
    Below are the common or seeded Bermuda grass that are popular worldwide: 


    Blackjack is a deep green warm season grass available in seed form. It has superfine texture with carpet like density. The growth is vigorous and has excellent cold tolerance capacity even in cold winter areas. The color of the grass remains same all through the summer providing dense green lawn. Among the others Bermuda grass seeded variety, it is one of the best in quality. 

    Ormond Bermuda Grass

    It is bluish-green in color. The grass has a medium texture and density. It can tolerate a number of leaf diseases but can't survive in cold. The grass is mainly used in golf courses, playground and sports fields. 

    Jackpot Bermuda Grass

    This is good for Baseball Fields. It needs some good maintenance for proper growth. The quality of Jackpot depends on the source locations. For example, in Georgia, it is quite poor in quality (particularly its color) when you compare it with average Bermuda turf grass. 


    Yuma is a dark green grass capable of forming dense turf. It is developed from the basic forage grasses. These days it finds its applications even in most exclusive golf greens. It has fair salt tolerance and drought resistant capacity. It requires sun and is a low growing species. It remains dormant below 60 degree temperature but recovers quickly when temperature rises. Though it generally grows from sod, it's also available as seed in both common and improved varieties. 

    Oasis Blend

    This grass is popular for its rapid growth and easy maintenance. It is green in color and commonly use for golf course fairways, sports fields, home lawns, parks etc.  

    Improved Common Bermuda Varieties

    The improved common varieties are generally darker green, deeper-rooted, medium-textured, and moderately denser than Common Bermuda Grass. They mostly come in seeded form. They are used in golf course roughs and fairways, lawns, parks, roadsides and sports turf. However, their maintenance cost is lower than the hybrid varieties. 
    The new improved seeded Bermuda varieties include Princess-77, Riviera, Sahara, Savannah, Sultan, Sundance, Sundevil I and II, Sydney, Mohawk, Triangle Blend, Yukon, La Prima etc. 

    La Prima

    This grass is the 2-way blend of improved turf type of La Paloma and Sahara. They have some characteristics quite similar to the hybrid varieties. It is dark green in color and forms genetically stable turf having medium to fine texture with pest and disease resistant quality. It is mostly used for fast germination and rapid growth in short time. It has low maintenance requirements and is relatively less expensive. This is one of the best choices out of improved turf-type seeded Bermuda grass having excellent quality. 

    Sahara (SR-9554)

    This is a dense turf grass with beautiful green color. It is wear and drought tolerant. Sahara is economical, easily seeded good choices for use in lawns and excellent for athletic fields, parks areas and such. It needs very low amount of fertilizer to grow well. 

    Princess 77

    This is a special variety of Improved Common Bermuda and has very fine leaves. It is world’s first dense, finest textured seeded Bermuda grass and available in seed form. Recommended mowing height of Princess 77 can vary between 3/16 inch to 1 inch. 

    Triangle Blend

    This grass is a dark green improved turf type seeded variety with medium fine texture. It is a fast growing turf grass with excellent drought and cold tolerance capacity. Due to genetic diversity it can adapt to a wide range of conditions. It may not be as good in quality as other varieties, but considering price and performance, it can be very attractive. Recommended mowing height is between ˝ inch to 2 inches. 


    Mohawk is an advanced synthetic turf-type Bermuda grass variety. The name of the variety Mohawk has come from the Mohawk Valley in Arizona from where it was produced. It is lush green with fine textures and a cold tolerant variety. It can survive in low winter temperatures in the Northern transition zone area. During winter, it can be in dormant stage for a much longer period than the other cold tolerant varieties of Bermuda. It is also a great choice for saline condition.  

    Yukon (OKS91-11)

    This is a seeded variety created by the Oklahoma State University. It is one of the best varieties among the seeded Bermuda grass when it comes to cold tolerance ability. It has uniform, dark green color and ultra fine texture. Arizona, Oklahoma are the most popular zones in US for growing this Bermuda grass seed. 

    How to buy Bermuda Grass?

    There are various types of Bermuda Grass that are commercially available including the Common and Improved Bermuda (which are available in seeds) as well as Hybrid Bermuda (which is available in form of sods, plugs and sprigs). And within each broad type, there are many other types. Many companies market these products under their own brands. 
    While you can visit a local commercial store to purchase Bermuda Grass, you may not always get the specific type and the brand you might be looking for. If you are located in the USA, suggest you go through Amazon's Online Store of Bermuda Grass to see the list of Bermuda Grass products available including accessories for maintenance, check user reviews and buy online. 

    What you should be cautious of

    While there are many positives about Bermuda Grass for growing it in your lawn or golf course, you should note that one unique characteristic of the grass is... it is very aggressive and invasive in nature. Which means while it will grow vigorously, it can also potentially invade areas where you do not want it to grow. For example, at a section of the lawn where you have flowering or ornamental plants, you will probably not want Bermuda grass to grow vigorously. 
    It is this same Bermuda Grass which can easily become weeds for such sections and then removing that can become a cumbersome process. Note that Bermuda grass seeds cannot be controlled by any treatment except solarization. Seedlings can be controlled by shallow cultivation, hoeing or a thin layer of mulch. Bermuda grass seed has the ability to survive in the soil for 2 years. 
    In order to learn how to eradicate the grass from sections where you don't want it to grow, read How to eliminate Bermuda grass from your lawn.   
    There are different types of Bermuda grass that are available and planted in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world. And there are also some cold tolerant varieties such as Yukon, Riviera or Mohawk that are often planted in Northern areas in the US. It is a good idea to also discuss with a lawn specialist to find out which Bermuda grass type will be the right one for your location and soil conditions. 
    You can also get such information from Agriculture University and Departments of Horticulture. Or alternatively, refer to the website of National Turfgrass Evaluation Program for state-wise information in the USA as well as in Cannada. 
    Raj BhattacharyaBy Raj Bhattacharya 
    Raj, a seasoned travel writer and Bermuda destination expert, has extensive global travel experience. This website reflects his profound insights, garnered over nearly two decades of dedicated findings and research on the island. Raj has assisted countless Bermuda-bound visitors by providing direct, personalized responses to their queries and imparting his wealth of knowledge through this platform. This site serves as an indispensable guide for those seeking informed and reliable insights into Bermuda's treasures. 
    Know more about Raj Bhattacharya 

    Related Articles

    1) For information on Sodded Bermuda refer to Bermuda Sod.  
    2) Check out Bermuda Grass for a complete guide on Bermuda Grass and Lawn Care.