Palmetto Grass vs. Floratam Grass: Lawn Grass Types

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Difference between Palmetto Grass and Floratam Grass

St. Augustine grass is one of the most popular lawn options in many parts of the United States, particularly in coastal regions that are subjected to cold temperatures due to the climatic conditions near the ocean. In recent years, two varieties of St. Augustine grass have become increasingly popular: Palmetto grass and Floratam grass. In this article, we compare the characteristics of each type of lawn grass.

Palmetto Grass
Floratam Grass

Definition

Palmetto grass is a type of St. Augustine grass that has a more vibrant color and a finer texture than the other grass varieties in the category. Palmetto grass is also more resistant to cold, frost, heat, and drought, and it holds up better in the shade than other types of St. Augustine grass.

Floratam grass is another type of St. Augustine grass that is cultivated for its hardier properties. Like Palmetto grass, it is more resistant to drought and other harsh environmental conditions, and it has the added advantage of being resistant to disease as well. Since its development in the early 1970s, Floratam grass has gone on to become one of the most popular strains of commercially grown grass.

Geography

Palmetto grass is commonly found in the southern section of the United States, from North and South Carolina to California. It is grown under a broad range of climate conditions and soil types, making it ideally suited for residential and commercial purposes.

While Floratam grass is widely grown in the United States today, it is actually endemic to the Caribbean region, Africa and the Mediterranean islands. At present, the grass is grown mostly in the Gulf Coast section of the United States (particularly in the south Florida area) as well as the Mediterranean region.

Appearance

Palmetto grass is categorized as a semi-dwarf grass, and it is similar in appearance to grasses such as Seville and Delmar. However, Palmetto grass doesn't become nearly as matted and thatched, even if subjected to full sunlight. The grass is characterized by a leaf blade of a similar width to Bitterblue and Raleigh, and it is a lot finer than Floratam. In fact, Palmetto grass is often mistaken for fescue when it is allowed to grow to a height of 3 to 4 inches. Palmetto grass also has a tapered tip with a rounded end, and is a lot softer to the touch than Floratam grass, which tends to feel a bit prickly.

Although belonging to the St. Augustine variety of grass, Floratam grass exhibits wider and longer leaf blades than the other grasses in the category. It also has characteristic purple shoots that grow horizontally, with each shoot typically growing to three inches in length.

Similarities and Differences

Palmetto grass

  • A type of St. Augustine grass that has a more vibrant color and a finer texture than the other grass varieties in the category
  • More resistant to cold, frost, heat, and drought

Floratam grass

  • Type of St. Augustine grass that is cultivated for its hardier properties
  • One of the most popular strains of grass commercially grown

 
 

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