BREEDING WHIPGRASS FOR LOW MAINTENANCE TURF
Acceptable low maintenance turfgrass needs to meet the appearance expectations for a particular area and include traits such as green color, fine leaf texture, high tiller density, and overall aesthetic appeal. Whipgrass (Hemarthria compressa (L. f.) R. Br.) is an experimental population from southwest China that has shown potential as a low maintenance turfgrass. The objective of the research was to estimate whipgrass population for turf traits when grown under a natural and reduced-maintenance regimen. Fifty-six whipgrass clonal lines were established in 2003 in Sichuan Agricultura University, China, as spaced-plant plots. Critical turf traits, including season-long (April - November) regrowth, color, and ground cover were evaluated in 2004 and 2005. Significant variation among clonal lines was evident, turf quality values (1-9, 9=best) ranged from 2.3 to 7.8, the population mean for yearly color (1-9, 9=best) ranged between 3.5 and 6.9. Clonal lines also differed in summer regrowth ranging from heights at cutting of 6.8 to 8.9 cm, and differed substantially in ground cover ranging from 46% to 95% plant coverage. Several clonal lines (H036, H049, H050) remained green throughout the winter months and maintained acceptable turf quality and color ratings during the critical winter dormancy period. These results indicate that whipgrass could be an important low maintenance turf-type Hemarthria germplasm.
Chunhua Yang, , Xinquan Zhang, , Wei Liu , and Ma Xiao, 2008. BREEDING WHIPGRASS FOR LOW MAINTENANCE TURF . Acta Hort. (ISHS) 783:283-290
Hemarthria compressa, germplasm, turfgrass, turf quality, turf management