Carpet grass is a type of small seeded grass native to tropical climates. There are several varieties which can be identified by their wide leaves with rounded tips and long seed stalks. Like crab grass the seed stalks terminate in two branches at the tip. According to the Texas Cooperative Extension Service carpet grass produces seed stalks frequently and for long periods of time. This makes the species less desirable for lawns due to the need for frequent mowing.
Narrow Leaf Carpet Grass
Axonopus affinis is called narrow leaf carpet grass. Axonopus affinis is very hardy and can grow in less fertile soil than many other species. This makes it a good choice for use in low maintenance areas such as parks, golf course roughs, or roadside medians.
This species of carpet grass can be sown from seed and requires a loose, smooth seed bed. The Texas Cooperative Extension Service recommends seeding carpet grass mid April to May with two pounds of seed per thousand square feet of ground for a quick cover.
Broadleaf Carpet Grass
Axonopus compressus is sometimes called broadleaf carpet grass and in appearance is very similar to common carpet grass. It grows naturally in sandy soils in Mexico and South America but used for ground cover and lawns in the United States, Australia, Africa and Asia.The University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources recommends broadleaf carpet grass as ground cover and grazing in orchards or plantations. The grass will grow in less fertile soil and is a good way to minimize erosion.
Broadleaf carpet grass is often planted under fruit trees because it can thrive in very shady conditions. This species of grass will quickly crowd out weeds and other plants and is often considered a weed itself.
Axonopus fisifolius is sometimes called Louisianagrass or common carpet grass. This grass species loves water and will form a dense sod. It is used for pasturage and grazing fodder for cattle in the southeastern United States.
This species of carpet grass grows well different soil types and can be planted from sod. According to the Louisiana State University Ag Center common carpet grass is more resistant to pest damage than other species of turf grass and is one of the few species recommended for wet soils and is often found in high water table areas where other grass species won't grow.