Prairie Grasses 1-5

By Prairie Frontier

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Big Bluestem

Attracts Birds and Butterflies

Andropogon gerardi, commonly known as "Turkey Foot Grass" is named for it's large size and bluish color and seed heads which branch out resembling a turkey's foot. It is one of the best native prairie grasses in quality and quantity of forage. Big Bluestem is also an excellent food source for wildlife as well as providing shelter.

Canada Wild Rye

Elymus canadensis, is a dominent grass of the prairies, in open soils, ranging from coast to coast. Heights usually reach 2-4 feet but it can get as tall as 6 feet. It's indentifiable by it's nodding, flowering spikes with long curved awns. Cool season growth allows for spring and fall pasturing.

Fox Sedge

Carex vulpinoidea, this native perennial will adapt from damp to very wet soils. Fox Sedge blooms in mid-summer and the seedheads project needle-like awns that resemble a fox tail. It grows in clumps and grows to a height of two feet.

Indian Grass

Attracts Birds and Butterflies

Sorghastrum nutans, is a striking native perennial that is a major species of the tall grass prairie. Indian Grass does well in drought conditions because of its exceptionally deep root system and is used as a hay and forage crop for livestock. This warm season grass does best in well-drained soils and will provide erosion control.

Little Bluestem

Attracts Birds and Butterflies

Andropogon scoparius, once one of the most abundant of prairie grasses, Little Bluestem is only 'blue' (blue-green) when the shoots come up in early summer. Flowering stalks can be tan to brown to rusty red in color and retain that shade throughout winter. A good forage grass and adapts well when planted on poorer soils.

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