By Design – Issue 65, Spring 2024

18 NATIVE GRASSES Many cool season native grasses across the northern United States and Canada are either identical or closely related to those of Scotland, England and Ireland. Many of these relationships continue across Eurasia, all the way to China, Korea and Japan. If you are trying to design and establish a true Scottish links, look to your local native grasses. You will have a rough that is true to Scotland and true to your region. There are many species that grow around the world along the northern latitudes. This is not limited to grasses; many trees, shrubs, sedges, rushes and wildflowers do the same thing. For example, the red fescue (Festuca rubra) that grows in North America is the same species as in the British Isles that is commonly supplied in seed mixes. Sheep fescue (Festuca ovina) from Europe and Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis) from the western US were once considered the same species and were later separated. Common bent (Agrostis capillaris) in Europe is very similar to Autumn bentgrass (Agrostis perennans) on the east coast and Seashore bentgrass (Agrostis pallens) on the west coast. While bentgrass benefits from light irrigation, the most popular variety in California is Pendleton, named after Camp Pendleton, located just north of San Diego. In the wild, this grass survives with 11 inches of rain in the winter and six months of drought during the hottest time of year. Europe has many grasses the US does not, while the US has grasses not found in Europe, but most of the foundational grasses are the same. The grasses are often quite compatible with each other. For example, perennial ryegrass is from Europe, but works well with natives from the US. Dave Kaplow Dave Kaplow is the owner of Eco-Management, Inc, and an expert in native grasses having worked as a consultant for golf clubs and superintendents for over 30 years. years. Kaplow can be reached at: Dave Kaplow provides advice regarding native grass selection and maintenance on a golf course. What have native grasses got to do with golf?