Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walter) Kuntze

Etymology Genus Narrow trench; referring to the depressions on the flowering stalk where the florets rest.
Species One-sided; all the florets are situated on one side of the stalk
Family Poaceae
Synonyms Ischaemum secundatum Walter, Stenotaphrum americanum Schrank
Common Names St. Augustine Grass
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Herb
Native Distribution Tropical Africa, North America (USA, Mexico), and South America


Stenotaphrum secundatum is a rather common weed of lawns. It is vegetatively distinctive. The smoky green leaves are thick (than most grasses) and erect, and the tip and base of the leaf tapered sharply to a point. The overlapping shealth is most distinctive as it is very much flattened.

Interesting Facts:

The St. Augustine Grass is a coastal pioneer species in its native habitat (Duistermaat, 2005).

Part of a lawn completely covered with the St. Augustine Grass. Note the smoky green colour of the grass.

Dictomous branching with flattened sheaths (arrow).

The inflorescence. The florets are only found on one side of the stalk.

The tip (right) and base (right) of leaf is sharply tapered.


Duistermaat H, 2005. Field guide to the grasses of Singapore (excluding the bamboos). Supplement of The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore, 57: 177.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-03-16 / Modified: 2017-12-25