Grassland Plants: Grasses & Forbs

 
  • All grasslands have in common:
    • A climate characterized by high rates of evaporation.
    • Periodic severe droughts.
    • rolling to flat terrain.
    • Animal life that is dominated by grazing and burrowing species

 

 

  • Grasslands are dominated by grasses, members of the family Poaceae (aka Gramineae).
  • Has more than 10,000 domesticated and wild species.
  • Is the 5th largest plant family.
  • Poaceae live in other habitats including:
    • wetlands
    • forests
    • tundra

     

  • Domestication of the following poaceous cereal crops  lies at the foundation of sedentary living and civilization around the world:
    • maize (corn)
    • wheat
    • rice
    • barley
    • millet

     

 

 

 

  • Bunchgrass form clumps by the erect growth of all the culms.
  • They spread at the base by shoots that develop from underground stems (tillering).

 

  • Sod-forming grasses spread by underground stems.

 

  • Some grasses may be either sod or bunch depending on the local environment.

 

  • Grasses are also categorized as:
    • cool season: put on growth in the spring and go dormant in summer.
    • warm season: put on most growth and flower in summer.