What are Stolons and Rhizomes?

Understanding the definition of a stolon and how it differs from a rhizome is crucial when learning about how creeping grasses propagate, spread, and recover from wear damage. This knowledge might also aid in the decision about what kind of grass to select for an upcoming lawn project as well as how to best manage it.

A stolon is an above-the-ground stem that creeps along the surface of the soil and subsequently grows a clone of the original plant on the end of it. The clone plant then sends down roots and establishes itself as an independent plant before repeating the process. A grass that has the characteristic of producing many stolons is described as a stoloniferous grass.

Examples of warm season grasses with stolons include centipede grass, St. Augustine grass, zoysia grass, and bermuda grass.

Rhizomes, also called “creeping rootstalks” or just “rootstalks”, are modified stems that run underground horizontally, often just underneath the surface of the soil. Rhizomes strike new roots downward into the soil and also shoot stems upwards. A grass that has the characteristic of producing many rhizomes is described as a rhizomatous grass. Examples of warm season grasses with rhizomes include bermuda grass and zoysia grass.

Warm season grasses propagate themselves vegetatively via means of stolons and/or rhizomes.

Stolons and Rhizomes in Warm Season Grasses Stolons Rhizomes
St. Augustine X
Zoysia X X
Centipede X
Bermuda X X






Stolons By Grass Type

Here are some pictures of stolons and thier respective grass types

Common Bermuda
Hybrid Bermuda – Usually the stolons of hybrid bermuda grasses are a little more symmetrical than those of common bermuda.


Zoysia Grass

Centipede Grass
St. Augustine Grass