Korean velvet grass

Zoysia tenuifolia

Its name “Zoysia tenuifolia” is in homage to the Austrian botanist Karl von Zois (1756-1800) and its specific name “tenuifolia” means small leaves.


Species endemic to Réunion island.

Species characteristics

Family: Poaceae

Origin: Asia (Mascarene and Réunion Islands)

Habitat: Dry areas

Characteristics: Zoysia tenuifolia belongs to the family of herbaceous perennials which, in their natural environment, form wavy tufts of long stems.
These tufts are compact, creeping and form a dense ground cover.
The foliage is evergreen, clear green in colour. It can grow to between 5 and 10 centimetres.

Flowering period: Does not flower

Uses and properties: Plant used in utility or ornamental lawns. It will withstand heavy treading and several weeks without water. It will remain level if it is trodden, turns yellow in winter at -5 °C.

History and oddities

This spectacular plant is a botanical phenomenon, it was first shown in 1867 in the revue horticole de Paris and then in 1884 in the Illustration horticole de Bruxelles.
Five other species can be found at the Jardin Exotique et Botanique in Roscoff (Finistère).
Tender, native to the Mascarene archipelago, it flourishes mainly in hot and arid areas.