Qld Blue Couch

Digitaria didactyla

Scientific name

Digitaria didactyla

Common name

Blue couch

Other names (PBR name, trademark, breeder code)

Formerly D. swazilandensis (scientific name); Serangoon grass; Queensland Blue Couch AgriCOTE (by Barenbrug Australia). 


Naturalised in Queensland from a heterogenous stock introduced from the Mascarene Islands in the early 1800s. Fine textured turf with blue-green leaves. Leaf sheath length 11.3-14.7 mm, width 1.2-2.2 mm (4th node from tip of stolon) (Data from ´Aussiblue´ Plant Breeder's Rights growing trial). QLD Blue grows well on a wide range of neutral to acid soils; tolerant of very acid soils (pH 5.5 and lower). The variety seeds prolifically from late spring to early autumn. In South East Queensland and Northern NSW, blue couch will invade most other warm-season turfgrasses forming mixed swards and can eventually become the dominant species, particularly under low fertility conditions. Copes with lower levels of fertiliser and insecticide/fungicide inputs than green couch if favorable conditions exist. QLD Blue Couch is slow to recover (by stolon growth) from traffic damage and it does not tolerate MSMA or DSMA herbicide (DAF, no date). QLD Blue Couch is less drought hardy than green couch varieties, but recovers quickly once drought stress is removed following irrigation or rain. QLD Blue Couch is among the least shade tolerant warm-season turfgrass species. It is tolerant of temporary, though not permanent, waterlogging, but also has a low tolerance of salinity (Loch et al., 2013).

Seed is available commercially in small quantities, up to 25 kg bags. Sow seed in late spring through to summer. 1kg of seed covers 100m2.

Other comments

In Queensland, QLD Blue is a very dominant turfgrass. You will find QLD Blue couch will dominante most turf species, including green couch. Blue couch can be difficult to remove, without selective herbicide which is often not available to the general public (available to industry and qualified persons).

Pests, disease and weeds
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Available in Sod/turf and seed
Turf price range (per m2) $5.00 - $8.00
Seed (per kg) $110.00 - $150.00
Use Residential and Parks
Suitable climate classification Subtropical and Tropical
Preferred mowing height 6 mm to 30 mm
Shade tolerance Poor
Wear tolerance Poor
Cold tolerance Poor
Heat tolerance Good
Salinity tolerance Poor
Water requirement Low
Fertiliser requirement Low
Mowing frequency Low
Thatch production Low
Website N/A
Facebook N/A
References Read more  
  • Loch, D.S., McMaugh, P. and Scattini, W.J. (2013). A review of Digitaria didactyla Wild., a low-input warm-season turfgrass in Australia: Biology, adaptation and management, International Turfgrass Society Research Journal, Vol. 12, pp. 14.
  • DAF (no date). QLD Blue Couch Technical Descriptor, Former Redlands DPI Technical Notes.

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