The new variety is the first version of the “Celebration X” breeding program, which arose from the idea of cross-pollination of Celebration Bermudagrass with several remarkable Bermudagrass genotypes collected and maintained over the years in Mississippi to create new lines (grasses). The goal of the program was to take advantage of the best celery properties and develop new herbs with better cold tolerance, softer texture, fewer seed heads, and less straw. This weed will be used on golf courses, home lawns, parks, and sports fields in the United States and elsewhere. The Celebration X breeding program began in 2014 as a partnership between Mississippi and Sod Solutions.
“I first evaluated Celebration Bermudagrass while visiting Australia in the late 1990s,” Sod Solutions President Toby Wagner He said. “Since then, Celebration has proven itself time and time again as a beautiful, aggressive and drought tolerant grass. We are excited to release the next strains of Celebration, with Celebration Hybrid being the first official Celebration X. Over the past eight years, the team in Mississippi has made Fantastic in the research and development of these new varieties.Congratulations to the former Mississippi Breeder Wayne Philly And everyone involved in launching this new grass.”
Celebration’s ability to block well, resist drought and tolerate shade has made it a popular choice in the market for the past two decades.
Philley led the research and evaluation for this project and believes the Celebration Hybrid is the appropriate name for MSB-1017. Celebration may also be seen as ‘repeated,’ he said. ‘I hope turf managers and turf producers who love Celebration will also love the Celebration Hybrid. Improvements in finer leaf texture and fewer seed heads may allow Celebration to be more attractive in certain applications.”
Five herbs were selected from the Celebration X program for inclusion in the 2019 National Herb Evaluation Program’s Bermudagrass Exam. This is a five-year trial conducted at universities across the United States in which experimental cultivars are evaluated alongside commercial cultivars. The 2020 and 2021 progress reports ranked MSB-1017 at or near the top in terms of fine leaf texture each year when averaged across all sites reporting this trait.
“I hope we get enhanced traits in the Celebration Hybrid without losing any of the good Celebration traits,” said Philly. Many attractive and diverse genotypes resulted from this breeding project. I put a lot of effort into evaluating it. I am confident Celebration Hybrid is one of the best of the entire range and I hope it will be used by the turf industry throughout its adaptation area.”
The Celebration Hybrid has been implanted in several real-world testing applications throughout the Southeast, including three golf courses in Florida: Country Club of Florida in Boynton Beach, Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples, and On Top of the World Golf Club in Ocala . Many acid growers have tested the herb before releasing it. Star Farms in Sebring, Florida, planted Celebration Hybrid plugs on a 10,000-square-foot plot in June 2021 before expanding by three acres in June 2022. Quality Turf in Avon Park, Florida planted sprigs of the Celebration Hybrid as a base hull in May 2022 on three quarters of an acre.
Superior Turf and Pike Creek Turf Farms in Georgia, Billy Mayfield and Murff Turf Farms in Texas, and Inman Sod in North Carolina also have demo lots for the Celebration Hybrid.
The Celebration Hybrid is the initial release of the Celebration X program with more to come next year. Celebration Hybrid will be limited commercially available by late summer 2024.