The Evolution of Zoysia
posted on February 5th, 2010 by John
So, what is zoysia? Where did it come from? Maybe you have heard the term or have seen advertisements, but in this blog post, we are going help you out a bit.
Zoysia grass, native to southeastern and eastern Asia, is a genus of eight species of spreading grass named after Austrian botanist Karl von Zois. Of the eight species, three are common in the United States: Zoysia Japonica, Zoysia Matrella, and Zoysia Tenuifolia. Meyer Zoysia, which we specialize in here at Zoysia Farm Nurseries, is a strain of the Japonica species.
As mentioned in our last blog post, zoysia made its first appearance in America when botanist C.V. Piper brought it over from Manila. Prior to that, zoysia was popular in Asian culture, dating as far back as the early 12th century.
Here at Zoysia Farm Nurseries, we specialize in Meyer Zoysia, which has a history all its own. According to the USGA Journal and Turf Management, the Meyer Z-52 strain was discovered in 1906 by Frank N. Meyer, a plant explorer for the Division of Plant Exploration. He brought it back to the United States from Korea, where it was filed with the Department of Agriculture as Zoysia pungens. Over time, it became Zoysia japonica, the species name it carries now. It was released by the USDA for commercial development in 1951.
Today, zoysia is used in a wide variety of ways, including golf course fairways, athletic fields, playgrounds, park areas, and home lawns.