There is an interesting thread on Twitter, started by Mike Richardson, about turfgrass terminology. He was asked why “we write grass names such as bermudagrass or zoysiagrass as single words when they are, in fact, grasses?” Aaron Patton answered that, showing a screenshot from a 1962 Agronomy Journal article on that very topic.
The answer is found in this reference. Both bahiagrass and bermudagrass should not be capitalized according to these rules.— Aaron Patton (@PurdueTurfDoc) September 24, 2018
Juska, F. V., W. H. Daniel, E. C. Holt, and V. B. Youngner. 1962. Nomenclature of some plants associated with turfgrass management. Agron. J. 54:275-276. pic.twitter.com/0jl2NEJozH
PACE Turf (Larry Stowell, I presume) asked a related question about the etymology of turf grass vs. turfgrass. That’s a good one, because it should almost always be turfgrass, but spellchecking software will often flag turfgrass as incorrect, and suggest a change to turf grass instead.
Madison wrote about this in his introduction to Practical Turfgrass Management:
Then I looked up the 1952 and 1953 committee reports, just to be sure.
In 1952, here’s the start of the report from the TURF committee.
In 1953, the report is now from the TURFGRASS committee, and it ends with the explanation quoted by Madison.