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Plants of the UNF Campus

Paspalum notatum - Bahia grass
Family Poaceae


About 300 to 400 species of Paspalum are mostly native to South America and North America. They are herbaceous perennial plants. Bahia grass is native from Mexico to South America. It is widely used as a turf grass and livestock forage. Without mowing, leaves grow to about twelve inches and flower spikes grow to two feet or more tall. It is drought tolerant and somewhat salt tolerant.


A variety named ‘Argentine’ is considered the best type of Bahia grass for lawns.


Plants can be seen along the roadsides on campus.


Herbaceous, spreading plant with leaves to twelve inches tall and taller flower spikes.

Care Instructions:

Light: sun

Water: well-drained soil, drought tolerant

Soil: best in an acidic soil (low pH)

In Jacksonville, bahia grass grows best in sunny sites in poor, well-drained soil. Usually, it is used in problem areas. Bahia grass has a strong tendency to turn brown in winter. In summer, tall flower spikes grow rapidly between mowings. Over-fertilization encourages weeds at the expense of the bahia grass.