New turfgrass from NC State offers drought and shade tolerance

August 23, 2022 -  By

North Carolina State University’s (NC State) turfgrass breeding and genetics program, under the direction of Susana Milla-Lewis, Ph.D., released Sola St. Augustinegrass.

Sola follows in the footsteps of the long-standing cultivar Raleigh St. Augustinegrass from NC State and adds a number of improvements including aggressive growth, shade tolerance, drought tolerance and superior sod strength in combination with turf quality. While comparable to Raleigh’s cold tolerance, Sola possesses better resistance to chinch bugs and gray leaf spot.

Sola is the second cultivar to be released from Milla-Lewis’ breeding program within the past year. NC State released Lobo Zoysiagrass in November 2021. Select N.C. sod producers Sod Solutions and the North Carolina Sod Producers Association (NC SPA) formed Turf Research North Carolina (TRNC) in 2016.

Growers made financial contributions over a six-year period to fund research and development of Lobo, Sola and other turfgrasses yet to come out of the program. All NC SPA participating growers contributing to the program will have exclusive access to the grasses when released. Sola St. Augustine will be exclusively licensed through Sod Solutions for commercial production and marketing.

Milla-Lewis said up next for NC State’s Turfgrass breeding and genetics program will be a new centipedegrass cultivar.

This article is tagged with and posted in Turf+Ornamental Care

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