Review compared varieties
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).
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 noticible if left unmown for several weeks in tropical conditions (e.g. Roche, 2013).
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. A benefit of zoysia grass is that it is less common to see attacks by army worm and sod web worm. The high fibre and lignin present within the leaf blades, which also assist for wear tolerance, make it tough for such attacks. To put it simply, the foliage is "too" tough and unfavorable for chewing mouthparts of such pests. 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, diseases and weeds
Check to see which Pests, Disease and or Weeds this turf variety may be susceptible to and how to successfully control them in your home lawn or sports turf.
$5.00 - $11.00
Residential and Parks
Suitable climate classification
Subtropical and Tropical and Temperate
Preferred mowing height
15mm - 50mm
- 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.
- Ito, M. and Gurgel, R.G.A. (2000). Zoysia grass plant named `SS-500`, United States Plant Patent 11,495.