Grass Species And Varieties for severe winter climates (P2)
Species, varieties and ecotypes
When a new variety is put on the market it is defined as a certain species. Most of the turf grass species for golf greens are bred from ecotypes that are collected from various parts of the world. When a new variety is labelled and sold, it has been proven to be distinct from other varieties and the genetic composition stable and consistent over years.
There are some varieties that are based on genes from a limited geographical area. These varieties are more sensitive to day length and their adaption to winter stresses is more robust as they are less dependent on low temperatures during the autumn in order to be acclimated.
Annual meadow grass (Poa annua) invades many greens as a weed, but can create magnificent putting surfaces. Only a few varieties are sold on the market. When this species is evaluated by researchers, it is important to know where the grass has been grown. Since annual meadow grass produces seed even at low mowing height, it is genetically flexible and will, over the years, adapt to the local climate and maintenance regimes.