Native Grasses

Native Grasses play an integral role in conservation and agriculture. Combined with wildflowers, native grasses can play a variety of roles, from creating wildlife habitat to preventing soil erosion, and can even be used for reclamation and beautification of landscapes.

Warm-Season Grasses

Native grasses include warm and cool-season grasses. Native Warm-Season Grasses are a group of mostly perennial grasses that reach their maximum production during the summer months (growth begins once soil temperatures reach 55° – 60° F). Most NWSGs are “bunch grasses” (grow in clumps) and are drought tolerant.

Native Warm-Season Grasses have multiple uses and benefits. Some of their primary uses include conservation (wildlife) cover, grazing, haying and reducing soil erosion.

There are many wildlife benefits to NWSGs but the two main benefits are:

  • The bunch grass structure provides an open understory allowing for easy wildlife movement while still providing overhead cover.
  • They are extremely stiff-stemmed thus can withstand heavy loads of snow.
Native Warm-Season Grasses Guide

Cool-Season Grasses

Native Cool-Season Grasses are mostly perennial grasses that grow actively from early spring to early summer and then again in early fall when temperatures are cooler (growth begins once soil temperatures reach 50°-55°F).

While warm-season grasses are the backbone of the prairies, cool-season grasses fulfill an important ecological role by providing forage, nesting cover, and seeds to eat early in the growing season, as well as cover for wildlife.

Native Cool-Season Grasses Guide

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