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Grasses at a Glance

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clump of Junegrass in a forest with trees in the background

Welcome June with Junegrass

When we think of prairie grasses, often the tallest grasses come to mind, like Big Bluestem, Indiangrass, and Switchgrass. But that doesn't mean there aren't shorter grasses growing in our prairies too.A lesser known prairie grass is Junegrass, and since we are now in the month of June, it’s only...
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spikes of pink flowers surrounded by grass in a prairie

Get ready to celebrate National Prairie Day on June 1

The first Saturday in June is recognized as National Prairie Day. Prairies hold a special place in my heart, since my work in prairies jumpstarted my love of plants and eventual path to graduate school and my current job. I’ll never forget my environmental studies class in college when we...
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flower of bulbous bluegrass held in a hand

Watch out for Bulbous Bluegrass, a weedy grass

While hiking through an open woodland, I saw a grass that looked different from any other I’ve seen before. I bent down and snapped some pictures, using iNaturalist to check for a quick identification. I was disheartened to see that it was yet another non-native, weedy grass. This one is called...
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clump of grass with dried curled leaves

Identifying Poverty Oat Grass

I love when plant identification is easy, when there’s one distinctive characteristic that makes a plant stand out from others around it, leaving no doubt what plant I’m looking at. It’s even better when that characteristic sticks around all year long, making the plant identifiable no matter the...
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clumps of prairie dropseed in bloom next to a walkway

Add Prairie Dropseed to your home garden

Last fall I visited the Missouri Botanic Garden with my family, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they added a fair amount of grasses to the garden beds that greet visitors when they first enter the garden. Of course I had to explore and snap some pictures, likely making me one of the most...
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field of green blades of grass

Refresh your grass identification skills

Spring is here and plants are greening up and leafing out almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule! My neighbors and I have already been out and about doing yard work and getting ready for the new season.  As we shake off the winter doldrums and welcome new spring life, it’s time to refresh your...
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river oats seeds

Growing native grasses from seed

Over the past two months, I’ve been working with Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteers to sort, clean, and package seeds of native plants we collected from pollinator gardens in the fall. We plan to give away these seeds at local programs that focus on supporting pollinators. It’s always...
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Green lawn grass with fallen leaves

What color is your lawn this fall?

As the days shorten and winter approaches, nature has taken on a bleaker appearance. Deciduous trees have lost their leaves, wildflowers have gone to seed, and many plants have taken on a straw to brown color as their aboveground growth dies for the season. How does your lawn look? One place that...
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woman holding clump of soil and roots

Going underground to explore the hidden benefits of grasses

Before the first hard frost came at the end of October, I planted many native plants around our new house. I brought some of my favorite plants with me in our move and was determined to get them planted this fall. One of the pots I brought with me had a Little Bluestem plant in it that I have been...
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