More About the Turfgrass Thesaurus

What can the Thesaurus do? Uses include:

  1. Providing a simple, reliable search structure using a predictable, easily-identified terminology. Example: "K=OVERSEEDING AND K=GOLF FAIRWAYS" to locate a concise set of articles on this topic (searching in Power Search).
  2. Act as an online dictionary/product guide/thesaurus, from the past up to the present or from the present into the past. Example: You have a research report which evaluates an experimental designation of a not-at-that-time released chemical. What is its actual substance (active ingredient) and trade names as released?
  3. Strengthen searches by adding synonyms, abbreviations, or variant forms of terms you know you want to use (in Power Search).

A Thesaurus Record Overview and Introduction

Unlike in the TGIF database, each listing in the Turfgrass Thesaurus is for a single keyword. As shown in the examples which follow, there are two classes of keywords: "valid" and "invalid." Valid keywords are terms which TIC has decided to use for indexing purposes to concisely describe a particular concept, thing, action, place, role, or grouping. Invalid keywords are the terms we have decided were better represented, for one reason or another, by another term. Sometimes, these decisions follow established rules, at other times they are judgment calls. In general, the below criteria are used:

  1. Scientific (binomial) nomenclature is used, rather that "common names." Example: Agrostis stolonifera is the valid keyword, "creeping bentgrass" is invalid. Note: For searching purposes, case does not matter (i.e. ALL CAPS IS OK).
  2. American usage and spelling is used, rather than any other variants. Example: "Fertilizers" is valid; "Fertilisers" is invalid
  3. Current and/or more generally recognized taxonomic/etiologic classifications are used in preference to superseded or controversial forms. Example: "Take-all patch" is valid; "Ophiobolus patch" is invalid.

In all of these situations, the Turfgrass Thesaurus will tell you which term to use (as long as we've accounted for it already.) Please note that the Turfgrass Thesaurus is a continuously evolving and developing outline/structure of turf terminology. It is not a static construct, and will continue to grow and change as TGIF grows and turf research continues.

Remember also that these "correct" forms of nomenclature apply only to the Keyword field in TGIF (searched as K="xxx"). If you search "K=FERTILISERS" in TGIF you will get 0 hits; but this doesn't influence searching any other field. You therefore could search "Fertilsers" in TGIF and find hits, based on abstract or title occurrences. Clearly, it is very, very likely that such materials would be from British or other Commonwealth sources. In the Basic Search interface, "invalid" forms of terms which you might type in will automatically be converted to the "valid" form.

Record Structure

As will be shown in the examples below, certain entries normally have opposite or reciprocal entries, as listed below:

Broader Term <---> Narrower Term

Use <---> Used for

Cultivar <---> Cultivar of

Trade Name <---> Substance

Related Term <---> Related Term

Essentially the Thesaurus is an outline structure with cross-references. "Broader Terms" are "higher" in the outline; "Narrower Terms" are "lower". "Cultivar of", "Substance", and "Use" statements tell you that the term is invalid as a keyword and tell you what term is valid to search in the keyword field in Power Search (or, perhaps, to add to your search statement) to find these terms in other fields, such as the title or abstract.

Several sample Turfgrass Thesaurus records are shown below, with explanatory comments following:

Example - Valid Keywords:

Record: 10944

Term (a) - Sphenophorus parvulus (Gyllenhal)

Broader Term (b) - Rhynchophorinae

Broader Term (b) - Root-eating insects

Broader Term (b) - Sphenophorus

Related Term (d) - Insect Pests

Related Term (d) - Sphenophorus inaequalis

Related Term (d) - Sphenophorus minimus

Used for Term (f) - Bluegrass billbug


Record: 60

Term (a) – Lolium perenne (L.)

Broader Term (b) – Lolium

Broader Term (b) – Short-lived perennial turfgrasses

Broader Term (b) – Wintergrasses

Narrower Term (c) – Lolium perenne subsp. stoloniferum

Related Term (d) – Bunch-type grasses

Related Term (d) – Creeping grasses

Related Term (d) – Lolium multiflorum

Related Term (d) – Lolium x hybridum

Related Term (d) – Neotyphodium lolii

Related Term (d) – Ryegrass mosaic virus

Related Term (d) – Ryegrass silage

Related Term (d) – Ryegrass staggers

Used for Term (f) – Common ryegrass

Used for Term (f) – Deutsche Weidelgras

Used for Term (f) – English ryegrass

Used for Term (f) – Fine ray-grass

Used for Term (f) – Lolium perenne tenue

Used for Term (f) – Perennial rye

Used for Term (f) – Perennial ryegrass

Used for Term (f) – Ray-grass

Used for Term (f) – Ray-grass commun

Cultivar (h) – Academy

Cultivar (h) – Acclaim

Cultivar (h) – All*Star



Record: 2025

Term (a) – Glyphosate

Broader Term (b) – Non-selective herbicides

Related Term (d) – 2, 4-D + Glyphosate

Related Term (d) – Clopyralid + Glyphosate

Related Term (d) – Dicamba + Glyphosate

Related Term (d) – Diquat dibromide + Glyphosate

Related Term (d) – EPSP synthase

Related Term (d) – Florasulam + Glyphosate

Related Term (d) – Glyphosate + Alachlor

Related Term (d) – Glyphosate + Diflufenican

Related Term (d) – Isopropylamine

Related Term (d) – Monochloroacetic acid

Used for Term (f) – N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine

Trade Name (k) – Accord

Trade Name (k) – Avail

Trade Name (k) – Durango

Trade Name (k) – Glystar

Trade Name (k) – Roundup



Record: 9478

Term (a) – Football fields

Broader Term (b) – Athletic fields

Narrower Term (c) – Goal posts

Related Term (d) – Baseball fields

Related Term (d) – Football

Related Term (d) – Lawn hockey

Related Term (d) – Sand-filled basin

Related Term (d) – Soccer fields

Related Term (d) – Stadia

Related Term (d) – Super Bowl

Used for Term (f) – American football fields

Used for Term (f) – Gridirons

Used for Term (f) – North American football fields

Scope Notes (e) - For North American Football fields only: for Association football USE Soccer fields.


Example - Invalid Keywords:

Record: 7694

Term (a) - Bluegrass billbug

Use (g) - Sphenophorus parvulus


Record: 8757

Term (a) - Roundup

Substance (j) - Glyphosate

Scope Notes (e) - The trade name for an herbicide with the active ingredient Glyphosate.


Record: 9912

Term (a) – Midnight

Exp. Designation (l) – 1528T

Exp. Designation (l) – 1528T-6-P1528T

Cultivar of (i) – Poa pratensis


Record: 9892

Term (a) – Ranger

Exp. Designation (l) – 221t

Exp. Designation (l) – HE 129

Exp. Designation (l) – Syn R

Use OR (m) – Glyphosate

Use OR (m) – Lolium perenne

Scope Notes (e) – A trade name for an herbicide with the active ingredient Glyphosate OR a cultivar of Perennial ryegrass.


Record: 4580

Term (a) – Varietal description

Use AND (n) – Cultivar profile

Use AND (n) – Varietal registration


COMMENT (a) - The "Term" which is the heading for that record (valid or invalid). Note that the parenthetical taxonomic name in the display (if present) is not a part of the term, though present.

COMMENT (b) - A "Broader Term" is a more general term, relatively speaking (and also a valid keyword with a record of its own).

COMMENT (c) - A "Narrower Term" is a more specific term, relatively speaking (and also a valid keyword with a record of its own).

COMMENT (d) - A "Related Term" is of parallel interest in some way (and also a valid keyword with a record of its own).

COMMENT (e) - A "Scope Note" usually clarifies a concept to explain how it is used as a keyword. It may contain elements of a definition, or direct a user elsewhere.

COMMENT (f) - A "Used for Term" identifies invalid keywords which, for indexing purposes, "mean the same thing" as the "term". the "Used for Term" has a record of its own, but all it does is refer you to the "valid" keyword (See also (g) below).

COMMENT (g) - "Use" identifies the "valid" keyword for an "invalid" one. It tells you what term to use to search and also look-up for further ideas (See also (f) above).

COMMENT (h) - "Cultivar" lists the release names of known cultivars of a grass species (with an emphasis on turf) (See also (i) below).

COMMENT (i) - "Cultivar of" identifies what species a cultivar "Term" is (See also (h) above).

COMMENT (j) - "Substance" identifies the active ingredient(s) in a released trade name pesticide or other agent (See also (k) below).

COMMENT (k) - "Trade Name" specifies known released trade names of substances (See also (j) above).

COMMENT (l) - "Exp.Designation" identifies known experimental designations for cultivars or trade names.

COMMENT (m) - "Use OR" identifies multiple valid keywords which might be meant by a single invalid term. The Scope Notes should provide sufficient information to choose between the valid keywords presented.

COMMENT (n) - "Use AND" identifies multiple valid keywords which, when used together, capture the meaning of a single invalid term.