Zoysia japonica

Scientific name

Zoysia japonica

Common name

Zoysia - Japanese Lawn Grass

Other names (PBR name, trademark, breeder code)

SS-500 (protected by Australian Plant Breeder's Rights and United States Plant Patent), Empire™ (trade mark of TurfBreed Pty Ltd). Was previously sold by some Lawn Solutions Australia growers as Platinum Zoysia®, which is a registered trade mark of Green Propeller Pty Ltd under Class 31 as of 12 Apr 2013 (AUS trade mark no. 1551433).


Empire™ is a medium- to slightly coarse-textured zoysiagrass suitable for recreational, commercial and domestic lawns. The variety handles shade, wear and retains adequate colour during winter. Empire™ does seed profusely during warmer weather and is very noticeable if left unmown for several weeks in tropical conditions (e.g. Roche, 2013).

Other comments

The main pro or con about Zoysia grass is its slow establishment and growth rate (although, Empire is slightly faster than some other zoysiagrasses). However, for a maintenance view point, Zoysia grass like Empire™ requires less attention than other common warm-season turfgrasses like blue and green couch. If infrequently mowing the turfgrass, Empire™ will scalp and take time to recover. Operators need to make sure mower blades are sharp and will not tear or damage leaf blades when the turf is mown. This is unsightly and can cause secondary problems like disease occurrence (Roche, 2012). Salinity tolerance of Empire is moderate to poor. However, in tough environments e.g. foreshore parks, where wear is also a factor, a variety like Empire is suitable compared to some seashore paspalum and green couch varieties. Since Empire's release in 2003 within Australia the variety has been used within roadsides, homes, amenity areas and developments, golf course tee boxes, parks and schools.


Pests, disease and weeds
Check to see which Pests, Diseases and or Weeds this turf variety may be susceptible to and how to successfully control them in your home lawn or sports turf.

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Turf available from these suppliers

Available in Sod/turf
Turf price range (per m2) $12.00 - $16.00
Use Residential and Parks and Roadsides and Commercial
Suitable climate classification Subtropical and Tropical and Temperate
Preferred mowing height 15mm - 30mm
Shade tolerance Good
Wear tolerance Good
Cold tolerance Moderate
Heat tolerance Good
Salinity tolerance Moderate
Water requirement Moderate
Fertiliser requirement Low
Mowing frequency Moderate
Thatch production High
References Read more  
  • Ito, M. and Gurgel, R.G.A. (2000). Zoysia grass plant named `SS-500`, United States Plant Patent 11,495.
  • Layt, T. & Paananen, I. (2007) Quantifying the strengthening of soil by commonly used landscape plants and turf.
  • PBR expires 15 Dec 2028. Read more at http://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/pbr_db/search.cfm and search 'SS-500’ in the variety field. 
  • Roche, M.B. (2013). TU09001: Adaptation of warm-season turf grasses for tropical Australia. Final Project Report for Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL).
  • Scattini, W. (2001). Zoysia japonica Zoysia Grass 'SS-500'. Plant Varieties Journal 14 (3): 74-75.

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