This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek kuon, a dog, and odons, a tooth). Graminae. Low creeping perennials, used for lawns and pasture.
Fig. 1189. Cynodon dactylon. (Natural size.)
Flowers in slender digitate spikes; spikelets 1-flowered, compressed, awnless, sessile in 2 rows along one side of a slender rachis. - -Species 4, in warm regions.
Pers. (Capridla dactylon, Kuntze). Bermuda-Grass. Wire-Grass. Fig. 1189. stems flattened, slender, creeping and rooting at the nodes, producing numerous slender or stout creeping rootstocks: blades hairy around the base: spikes 4-5,1-1 1/2 in. long. Dept. Agric, Div. Agrost. 20: 99. - A native of the warmer parts of the Old World, now widely distributed in the warmer parts of the western hemisphere. Cult, as a pasture and lawn grass in the southern states. Often a troublesome weed in cult, ground. A fine-lvd. form with runners above ground, much used in the S. for lawns, is called stem Lucie grass. In Eu. the stolons are said to be used medicinally like couch-grass, principally as a diuretic.
C. incompletus, Nees. Blue Couch-Gbass. Occurs in E. and S. Africa and also New S. Wales, where it is used as a pasture grass. It is reported as poisoning stock, at certain stages of its growth producing hydrocyanic (prussic) acid.
A. S. Hitchcock.