Golf News for Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | Briefly

U.F.'s new UltimateFlora Zoysia meets Green Building standards

AVON PARK, Fla. -- A drought tolerant grass called UltimateFlora Zoysia that was developed by the University of Florida for use on home lawns meets ‘Green Building’ standards, according to the Florida Green Building Coalition, the association that coordinates the ‘Green Building’ program around the state.

Developed by UF to replace St. Augustine grass and marketed by Environmental Turf, Inc., UltimateFlora™ Zoysia is the first and only lawn grass to date recognized by the FGBC as suitable for use in achieving a home’s ‘Green Home Certification.’

The grasses’ environmentally friendly qualities helped it to earn the certification status. UltimateFlora™ Zoysia requires significantly less water for irrigation than St. Augustine grass and has built-in mechanisms to help it withstand drought conditions. It also has a much finer, softer leaf blade than St. Augustine grass, providing the look of a Northern-type lawn. UltimateFlora™ Zoysia is tolerant of most herbicides and resists the Chinch bug insect that attacks and kills St. Augustine grass.

Homeowners or builders seeking ‘Green Home Certification’ may install UltimateFlora™ Zoysia in a home’s lawn and receive two points toward their certification. UltimateFlora™ Zoysia’s low water use attributes qualified for the certification under Category 2 for ‘Water’, part 16 for ‘drought tolerant turf in the installed landscape’.

UltimateFlora™ Zoysia is also the first and only turfgrass to date to be included in FGBC’s FIND GREEN searchable database.

“Industry professionals and consumers often find it difficult identifying and locating green building products. The FGBC online searchable green resource directory helps simplify the process,” said Suzanne Cook, Executive Director of the Florida Green Building Coalition. “It includes environmentally preferable products, professional services and listings of all the FGBC certified projects.”

UltimateFlora™ Zoysia can be found in the FIND GREEN database under section 2920 Lawns and Grasses. In the FIND GREEN section of the FGBC site, click on Products.

UltimateFlora™ Zoysia is available through Environmental Turf and its network of licensed sod producers. Nine farms currently produce UltimateFlora™ Zoysia in Florida and delivery is available to most locations. To find a licensed grower: visit, email: or call 863-452-6595.

Developed by the University of Florida. Great for residential lawns and common areas. Use UltimateFlora™ anywhere you'd use St. Augustinegrass. UltimateFlora™ is Drought Tolerant. It requires less fertilizer and less water than many other lawn grasses. Soft, medium texture, bright green color, barefoot feel. Chinch bug resistant. Tolerant of most herbicides. It is faster growing than other zoysias and holds up well to foot traffic from children and dogs. Dr. Brian Scully, formerly of the University of Florida and lead scientist who developed the grass, reports that UltimateFlora™ Zoysia is a "finer texture, deeper green color and produces fewer seed heads than Empire® Zoysia." May be planted in full sun or shade. UltimateFlora™ Zoysia is used by Walt Disney World in shaded areas. Selected by the Southeast Building Conference for the home lawn at the 2006 & 2007 New Southern Home showcase home in Orlando; by The 2006 Birmingham Home and Garden "Inspiration House" in Vestavia Hills, Alabama; and as the demonstration lawn at the 2006 & 2007 FNATS (Florida Nursery & Allied Trades Show) in Orlando. It's not just good, it's the Ultimate!™

Based in Avon Park, Florida, Environmental Turf, Inc., is an award-winning firm dedicated to the research, development, marketing and distribution of environmentally friendly warm-season turfgrasses. The company’s mission is to bring specialty warm-season turfgrasses to the public with an eye toward sustainability, ecology and beauty. Environmental Turf works with University turf programs and independent researchers world-wide to develop grasses that will help sustain the environment, reduce the amount of water used for turfgrass irrigation, and curb the amount of chemicals and fertilizers released into the ecosystem while also creating an esthetically pleasing landscape. Depending on variety, the grasses may be shade-tolerant, require less water, less fertilizer or less inputs overall than other common lawn, golf or sports field grasses. Environmental Turf licenses its proprietary turfgrasses to some of the world's finest sod producers in warm-season climates around the globe.

Media Contact:
Stacie Zinn
Cell: 239-398-4224