Warm season (C4) grasses


Scientific Name Common Name Photo Monoculture Plot Growth Description
Andropogon gerardii Big bluestem Andropogon gerardii

PDF icon 2003-andropogon-plots.pdf

Poaceae. Grass. Short papery ligule. Typically has long hairs (0.25-1.0cm) on the sheath and the base of the leaves. Leaves are wide at base and taper. Culm has bulbous red-purple knob at nodes. This is a tall grass. Stalk is somewhat flattened (but not as much asSchizacyrium scoparium). Inflorescence is in threes or multiples of three. Similar species:Schizacyrium scopariumandSorgastrum nutans.
Bouteloua gracilis Blue grama Bouteloua gracilis

PDF icon 2003-bouteloua-plots.pdf

Poaceae. Grass. Sheath and leaf blades sometimes glabrous (no hairs) but may also be hairy. Tuft of hair at ligule area. Leaves are smooth, very narrow, wispy, and often senesced at the tips. This is a short grass, the seed heads are generally 20-40cm tall. Rachis does not surpass the uppermost spikelet of the seedhead.
Schizachyrium scoparium Little bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium

PDF icon 2003-schizachyrium-plots.pdf

PDF icon 2005-schizachyrium-plots.pdf

Poaceae. Grass. Grows in bunches. Short papery ligule. Generally not hairy on sheaths or leaves. Leaves are folded and very flat at their bases with white spots at the nodes sometimes apparent. Leaves are uniformly narrow from base to tip. Inflorescences are solitary on long, thin stalks. Flowering stalk is very slender with red-purple knob at nodes. Similar species arePoa pratensisandAndropogon gerardi.
Sorghastrum nutans Indian grass Sorghastrum nutans

PDF icon 2003-sorghastrum-plots.pdf

PDF icon 2005-sorghastrum-plots.pdf

Poaceae. Grass. Large, stiff ligule. Round at base. Sheath is usually hairy but can have sparse or no hairs. Leaves are long and moderately broad, usually with one midrib. Seedhead is a tall stalk with rust-gold, soft seeds. Similar species is Andropogon gerardi-A. gerardi has longer hair that grows on leaves and sheath and it has a papery ligule.