UCCE Orange County Master Gardeners
University of California
UCCE Orange County Master Gardeners


Lawn grasses, bunch and creeping

Once out of the seedling stage, grasses may grow primarily upward (bunch type) or outward (creeping type).

Bunch-type grasses are named for their bunchy appearance, caused by the production of many tillers from the crown of the plant. These grasses expand only by tillering.
Common bunch-type grasses
Annual ryegrass
Hard fescue
Perennial ryegrass
Red fescue (some varieties)
Tall fescue

Creeping-type grasses are named for their creeping growth habit. These grasses spread by stems that stretch out from the crown of the plant. New shoots develop from nodes on underground stems, called rhizomes, or on horizontally growing aboveground stems, called stolons.

Grasses spread by rhizomes
•Kentucky bluegrass
•Red fescue (some varieties)

Grasses spread by stolons
•Creeping bentgrass
•Rough bluegrass
•St. Augustinegrass

Grasses spread by both stolons and rhizomes
•Colonial bentgrass*
•Seashore paspalum

*stolons and rhizomes are short

Read more about grass development.

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