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CitraBlue, a new St. Augustinegrass, released

June 12, 2020 -  By

The University of Florida’s (UF) first turfgrass release in over a decade, CitraBlue St. Augustinegrass, is now available for purchase throughout Florida. Currently, there are more than 350 acres across the Sunshine State for sale. CitraBlue, marketed by Sod Solutions, says it expects increased production of the turf in 2021.

This grass is a product of many years of research, development and testing begun in 2006 and led by UF breeder Kevin Kenworthy, Ph.D. ‘CitraBlue’ is naturally developed for Florida and has many improved features over other grasses that may answer many statewide environmental challenges.

‘CitraBlue’ has shown an enhanced level of resistance to damaging diseases gray leaf spot, take-all root rot and large patch. Other traits include elevated drought tolerance, slower growth rate than Floratam St. Augustinegrass, dense canopy to cut down on weed pressure and shade tolerance. Its most visually significant feature is its unique blue-green color. This will lead to a reduction in over-fertilization.

“Just the color alone makes it pop out where a lot of grasses look good in one yard but not the other,” said Eric Bartl of Vero Beach, Fla.-based Gulf Kist Sod. “This grass is going to be good across all the yards because of the color alone and I think that when one neighbor has it, everyone else is going to want it.”

Kenworthy is one of the top forward-thinking turfgrass breeders in the industry. CitraBlue is his first release from a program partially funded by over 20 sod producers across the state of Florida. They, in conjunction with the Turfgrass Producers of Florida, formed a research support group called Turf Research Florida (TRF) to help develop this variety. This group includes most of the top turfgrass producers in the Sunshine State.

“We are very excited about CitraBlue and what it will bring to the turf industry,” said Kenworthy. “Grower responses and landscape tests have been very favorable. We look forward to learning and sharing more in the future as production expands.”

 

LM Staff

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