Native Grasses

large silvery blue bunchgrass

little bluestem


  • are more numerous than other type of plant
    • belong in native plantings
  • are easy to grow and hardy
  • provide seeds and habitat for birds, insects and small mammals
  • provide texture and visual interest all year long
  • are very disease resistant
  • are deer resistant
  • increase in size with increased water

Warm season vs. cool season grasses

green bunchgrass with numerous fluffy white flower stalks

prairie junegrass

  • Warm season grasses wait until temperatures have been quite warm for a couple of weeks before they green up, often much later than cool season grasses.   They stay green until the first frosts.
  • Cool season grasses begin to turn green as soon as temperatures are generally above freezing.  They tend to go dormant in the heat of the summer unless watered but often green up again in fall.  Good for short growing seasons!  Best to plant these in either spring or fall.


Delicate, wispy seedheads of Tufted Hairgrass

tufted hairgrass

Bunchgrass vs. rhizomatous grass

  • Bunchgrasses grow in clumps and tend to spread slowly via seed germination.  They are useful as ornamental specimens and along borders, or interspersed with other forbs.
  • Rhizomatous grasses send out runners (some above ground, most below) and spread quickly.  They may also produce new plants from seed.  These are good for lawns and covering large areas.




spiky golden brown seedheads of Bluebunch Wheatgrass

bluebunch wheatgrass