Monday, November 13, 2006

Collection and Evaluation of Carpetgrass Axonopus affinis Germplasm.

Nicholas Greene and Kevin Kenworthy. University of Florida, 304 Newell Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611-0500

With increasing pressure on the turfgrass industry to reduce maintenance inputs there is a need to identify and breed alternative reduced input species that may be suitable for turf purposes.  Several efforts have resulted in the use of alternative species in various regions of the United States; however, there has been little effort to identify and evaluate alternative species in the southeastern United States.  Carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis Chase) is a naturalized species in the gulf coast region that performs well on low fertility, acidic, poorly drained soils.  Accessions of carpetgrass germplasm have been acquired through several collection trips and commercially available seed.  This material has been evaluated in the greenhouse and field for morphological characters and turfgrass performance traits.  Accessions with finer leaf texture, shorter internodes and superior turf quality will be selected for breeding improved cultivars of Carpetgrass.