UMass Extension Turf Program

Characteristics of Kentucky Bluegrass Cultivars

Fact Sheet Category: 
Culture and Management
Type Disease/Insect Wear tolerance Characteristics Cultivars
Compact-Midnight*
  • Very susceptible to powdery mildew
  • Variable resistance to summer patch
  • Resistant to necrotic ring spot
Fair Very dark green color, Late spring green-up, Good heat tolerance
Note: Most of cultivars have similar growth and performance characteristics to the cultivar Midnight.
Arcadia, Rugby II, Award, Impact, Midnight, Total Eclipse, Liberator, Quantum Leap, Odyssey, Absolute, NuGlade, Alexa, Midnight II, Ginney, Rambo, Courtyard, Tsunami, Awesome, Freedom II, Beyond, Perfection, Chicago II, Excursion, Barrister
Compact-America*
  • Resistant to summer patch, leaf spot and powdery mildew
Fair Bright dark green color, ½ inch cutting height, Low compact growth, Good in shade, Finer leaf, Higher density. Showcase, Apollo, SR 2284, Brilliant, SRX 2394, Langara, America, Unique, Boutique, Bluemax, Bedazzle, Avalanche, Glenmont, Arrow, Blue Ridge, Royale, Goldstar, Mallard
Aggressive   Excellent Aggressive lateral growth, High shoot density, Very wear tolerant, Quickly knitting sod and repair, Variable in other characteristics. SRX 26351, P-104, Northstar, A-34, Mystic, Limousine
Bellevue
  • Resistant to leaf spot and stripe smut
N/A Medium growth and shoot density, Medium wide leaves, Excellent winter color, Early spring green-up, Stemmy in spring, Moderate recovery from summer. Parade, Freedom, Bellevue, Dawn, Suffolk, Trenton, Georgetown, Banff, Classic, Haga
Mid-Atlantic
  • Susceptible to leaf spot except SR 2000 and Preakness
Fair-to-Good Deep, extensive roots and rhizomes, Vigorous turf and medium-high density, High summer stress tolerance, Early spring green-up, Good winter performance. SR 2000, Livingston, Monopoly, Bel-21, Preakness, Plush, Eagleton, Wabash
CELA (Challenger, Eclipse, Liberty, Adelphi)
  • Resistant to stripe smut and leaf spot
Good Better spring green-up than compact, Less stemmy than Bellevue, Good turf quality, Variable winter performance. Challenger, Adelphi, Eclipse, Jefferson, Liberty
BVMG* (Baron, Victa, Merit, Gnome)
  • Resistant to necrotic ring spot
  • Susceptible to stripe smut and billbug
Good High seed yields, medium-good turf, Medium low growth, Medium wide leaves, Very stemmy in spring, Poor winter performance. Baron, Nassau, Victa, Raven, Merit, Marquis, Gnome, BlueChip, Dragon, Fortuna, Abbey, Goldrush, BlueStar, Envicta, Baronette, Clearwater, Crest, Cannon
Shamrock
  • Resistant to leaf spot
  • Susceptible to billbug
Good Moderate winter color, Good turf quality and sod strength, High seed yields, Less stemmy than BVMG type, Variable summer performance. SR 2100, Shamrock, Champagne, Parkland, Atlantis
Cheri
  • Resistant to stripe smut
  • Moderate resistant to leaf spot
Fair Good turf quality, Medium low growth, density and leaf width, Good sod strength, High seed yields, Less stemmy than BVMG, Moderate winter dormancy. SRX QG245, Cheri, Sydsport, Cobalt, Serene
Julia
  • Resistant to leaf spot and stripe smut
  • Susceptible to brown patch and dollar spot
Good High turf quality, High density, Good summer performance, Moderate winter performance. Julia, Caliber, Ikone, SR 27832
Common (Midwest ecotypes)
  • Susceptible to leaf spot, necrotic ring spot, and pink snow mold
  • Resistant to gray snow mold
Poor Erect growth and narrow leaf blades, Good summer stress tolerance, Poor winter color and performance, Early seed production, Good for soil stabilization/conservation. Kenblue, Huntsville, Geary, Newport, S-21, Park, Piedmont, Alene, Greenley, Ginger, Garfield, South Dakota Cert
Other   N/A Cultivars intermediate between two types and with less information know about (unclassified). Cynthia, Fairfax, Pp H7832, Freedom II, many additional cultivars not listed

* Cultivars within their types showed high genetic similarities (Curley, J. and G. Jung. 2004. RAPD-based genetic relationships in Kentucky bluegrass: comparison of cultivars, interspecific hybrids, and plant introductions. Crop Science 44: 1299-1306). Genetic clustering was highest in Midnight > BVMG > America.

Note: information presented here with permission from Dr. Leah Brilman (Seed Research of Oregon).

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Submitted by: Dr. Scott Ebdon & Dr. Geunhwa Jung