Indian bluegrass

Scientific name
Bothriochloa pertusa

Common name
Indian bluegrass

Other names (PBR name, trademark, breeder code)

Indian couch grass; 'Dawson' (formerly protected by Australian Plant Breeder's Rights)


Indian bluegrass (e.g. 'Dawson') is a low growing pasture grass that also produces a moderate quality dense turf sward when routinely mown. Horizontal stems (stolons) are fine and red. Weakly tufted. Blue-green leaf blades are 1.5-8.5 cm long and 1.5-2.5 mm wide. Fine sparse hairs on the upper leaf surface, moderately dense hairs on the lower leaf surface. There are no hairs on the leaf edge (Source: Former Redlands DPI Technical Notes (DAF)). Within dry subtropical and tropical environments, the turf species is suited to commercial and residential lawns, sports fields, parks, site rehabilitation and land conservation, roadside verges and nature strips, orchard inter-rows, country air strips.

Other comments

Indian bluegrass grows best in a warm climate and has become naturalised in central and drier areas of northern Queensland. It is found growing in residental lawns, nature strips and seafront areas in the Northern Territory. It is a very drought hardy plant growing within an annual rainfall range of 500-900 mm. It is suited to well-drained loam and (heavy) clay soils, but will also grow better than most other grasses on difficult to manage, forest soils. Neutral to slightly alkaline soils preferred. The fine-medium textured Indian bluegrass variety 'Dawson' was by the then Department of Primary Industries, Queensland Government from 128 lines of B. pertusa in a Queensland-based multisite evaluation programme. Identified as a potential turf variety due to its low growth, rapid stolon development, dense ground cover and wide adaptation. In frost, the surface of Indian bluegrass is killed, but the grass will recover if the temperature stays above 6°C. Resistant to rust (Puccinia duthiae). Less prone to armyworm (Spodoptera sp.) and other moth larvae than blue couch (Digitaria didactyla). The variety is available in seed, but is often in short supply. (Source: Former Redlands DPI Technical Notes (DAF)).



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Available in Seed
Price range N/A
Use Roadsides
Suitable climate classification Subtropical and Tropical
Preferred mowing height 11mm - 30mm
Shade tolerance Poor
Wear tolerance Moderate
Cold tolerance Poor
Heat tolerance Good
Salinity tolerance Moderate
Water requirement Low
Fertiliser requirement Low
Mowing frequency Moderate
Thatch production Low
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Related Turf Varieties

Emerald Downs

Bothriochloa pertusa