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Cynodon dactylon - (L.)Pers.                
Common Name Bermuda Grass
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards Bermuda grass is reported to be photosensitizing in animals[269]. Under certain environmental conditions the plant can produce hydrocyanic acid and so is potentially toxic to livestck[274]. The plant is also said to cause contact dermatitis and, with its high production of pollen, can be a major cause of hayfever[269, 274].
Habitats Sandy shores in southern Britain[17].
Range Britain. A cosmopolitan plant, found in most tropical to warm temperate regions.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun


Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Cynodon dactylon is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid, very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cynodon dactylon Bermuda Grass

Cynodon dactylon Bermuda Grass
 Ground Cover;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anthelmintic;  Astringent;  Diuretic;  Ophthalmic.

Bermudagrass is reported to be alterative, anabolic, antiseptic, aperient, astringent, cyanogenetic, demulcent, depurative, diuretic, emollient, sudorific, and vulnerary[269]. A decoction of the root is used as a diuretic in the treatment of dropsy and secondary syphilis[240]. An infusion of the root is used to stop bleeding from piles[240, 243]. The juice of the plant is astringent and is applied externally to fresh cuts and wounds[240]. When mixed with the powder of a clove (Syzygium aromaticum), it is used as an anthelmintic[272]. Internally, it is used in the treatment of chronic diarrhoea and dysentery[240, 243]. It is also useful in the treatment of catarrhal ophthalmia[240, 243]. The juice is also diuretic and is used in the treatment of dropsy and anasarca[240, 243]. The leaf juice has also been used in the treatment of hysteria, epilepsy and insanity[240, 243]. The plant is a folk remedy for anasarca, calculus, cancer, carbuncles, convulsions, cough, cramps, cystitis, diarrhoea, dropsy, dysentery, epilepsy, headache, haemorrhage, hypertension, hysteria, insanity, kidneys, laxative, measles, rubella, snakebite, sores, stones, tumours, uro-genital disorders, warts, and wounds[269].
Other Uses
Biomass;  Soil stabilization.

Plants are sometimes grown as a cover for warm sunny banks and are sometimes used for lawns[200, 269]. They stay green even in hot and dry weather[269]. Plants give complete ground cover in 4-8 weeks when planted 30-45 cm apart[269]. They succeed on most soil types and requires very little mowing on poor soils[269]. Valuable for soil conservation due to its long runners that root at the nodes[269]. Plants are used to produce biomass. Annual productivity ranges from 4 to 52 tonnes per hectare[269].
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a warm sunny position in a well-drained soil[200]. The plant can grow in very diverse conditions of soil and moisture, withstanding drought well and also tending to eliminate other plants[269]. It spreads quite rapidly, rooting at the nodes, becoming difficult to eradicate and can be a serious weed in cultivated land[269]. Bermudagrass is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 9 to 429cm, an annual temperature range of 5.9 to 27.8°C, and a pH in the range of 4.3 to 8.4. Reported from the Hindustani Centre of Diversity, Bermudagrass, or cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate alkali soil conditions, disease, drought, frost, grazing, herbicide, heavy metal, heavy soil, insects, laterite, nematodes, peat, poor soil, salt, sand, atmospheric pollution, ultraviolet, virus, water-logging and weeds[269]. It is unproductive in poor dry soils and is best adapted to relatively fertile, well-drained soils with a pH of 6.0-7.0, in humid areas. Plants withstand long periods of drought, as they produce little growth in dry weather[269]. This species is hardy to about -10°c[200]. Plants vary greatly in habit according to soil and climate, and occur in several natural strains which differ widely in size, colour (bright, yellow-green to dull blue-green), texture of stars and leaves, size of spikes, and grazing value. Most varieties are poor seeders and are propagated by their creeping stem. Bermudagrass can form dense cover in almost pure stands, practically anywhere. Abundant as a weed along roadsides, in lawns, on sandy wastes, along sand dunes, and readily takes possession of any uncultivated area[269].
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring. There are almost 4,000,000 seeds per kilo[269]. Division in late spring. Very simple, plants can be propagated easily from rooted sideshoots, establishing quickly when planted straight into the soil[269].
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
[243] Medicinal Plants of Nepal
Terse details of the medicinal properties of Nepalese plants, including cultivated species and a few imported herbs.
[269]Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of plants.
[272]Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Mike Johnson (B.Eng & Hort Cert IV) Sat Jun 2 2007
Common throughout Australia, can be invasive, or make a tough "lawn". Locally called "Couch Grass"
Elizabeth H.
Amit Chattopadhyay Wed Aug 8 2007
Where can I get seeds for Cynodon dactylon grass? I need only 1/2 oz. to 1 oz. Amit Chattopadhyay (amitchatto@hotmail.com)
Elizabeth H.
gajanand engla Sun Apr 6 2008
i'm in need of reff. of anticancer activity of the same plant
Elizabeth H.
dr.veeresh adoor Sun Dec 28 2008
hello, sir plz can you let me know pharmacodynamics of cynodon dactylon in opthalmic disorders.
Elizabeth H.
lea cruz Mon Jan 19 2009
hello,sir plz can you give us the active constituent of bermuda grass that is responsible for diuretic property

Elizabeth H.
anupam das Fri May 15 2009
there is no information regarding its chemical constituents
Elizabeth H.
virendra Sun Jul 12 2009
there is no information regarding its chemical constituents so plz send it
Elizabeth H.
Sun Sep 6 2009
there is no information regarding its chemical constituents so plz send it..
Elizabeth H.
vina Fri Sep 18 2009
hi i am vina there is no information regarding its chemical constituents,also which active constituent are responsible for diuretic and kidney stone activity. so plz send it
Elizabeth H.
Thu Oct 8 2009
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