Manilagrass Z. matrella (L.) Merr.
Japanese lawngrass Z. japonica Steud.
Mascarene grass Z. tenuifolia Willd. ex Trin.Source: Magness et al. 1971
All of these grasses are native to tropical or Eastern Asia. In this country they are used exclusively for lawns, golf courses, and occasionally for erosion control. They form excellent green turf, green in summer but becoming brown during the winter months.
Mascarene grass is the smallest, finest-leaved and least hardy of the three. It grows only 2 inches high, is shallow rooted. It is grown somewhat in southern areas.
Japanese lawngrass has a broad, coarse leaf and makes a dense sod. It is winter hardy as far north as Boston. It is tough, harsh, unpalatable to livestock. Once established, it is very persistent. Propagation is by inserting plugs of sod. Varieties are available, of which Meyer is best known.
Manilagrass has a general limit of hardiness at about 40 N. It appears best adapted to rather heavy soil but will thrive on other types. It is propagated by planting sod pieces and is rather slow to become established; but makes a dense, persistent sod.