Lincoln Conservation District

801 E 5th Street – Suite 2, Canton, SD 57013 | Office Phone: 605-987-2624 | Email:lincolncd@sdconservation.net

Native Grasses

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Bluestem, Big’Bonilla’

(Andropogon gerardii ‘Bonilla’)

bluestem-big-bonilla

Native. Warm season. Major component of tallgrass prairie. Produces “turkey foot” seed heads. Plants turn red in the fall and remain upright in winter. Excellent cattle food. Grows 3-7 feet tall. Photo credit: USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center.

Indiangrass, ‘Tomahawk’

(Sorghastrum nutans ‘Tomahawk’)

indiangrass-tomahawk

Native. Warm season. Major component of tallgrass prairie. Grows best on moist soil. Produces seeds in large, fluffy terminal panicles. Interesting landscape plant. Grows 3-6 feet tall. Photo credit: USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center.

Switchgrass, ‘Dacotah’

(Panicum virgatum ‘Dacotah’)

switchgrass-dacotah

Native. Tall, warm season, perennial sod grass. Seedhead is an airy panicle. Turns golden yellow in fall/winter. Usually remains upright during winter. Birds make some use of seeds. Grows 3-5 feet tall. Photo credit: USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center.

Cordgrass, Prairie ‘Red River’

(Spartina pectinata ‘Red River’)

cordgrass-prairie-red-river

Native, warm season, tall grass for wet sites. Originally selected from native stands in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Spreads to form a colony by thick rhizomatous roots. Leaves have sharp edges. Can stabilize soil and filter water in riparian areas. Interesting seedheads. Moderate tolerance to high soil salt conditions. Grows 3-8 feet tall. Photo credit” USDA-NRCS Plant Material Center

Dropseed, Prairie

(Sporobolus heterolepis)

dropseed-prairie

Native. Warm season. Produces nearly circular tufts of fine leaves which are 4″-10″ in diameter. Grows in wetter mixed grass prairies. Very attractive in bloom and seed. Interesting accent plant. Can be used to line walkways and edge gardens. Grows 1-3 feet tall.

Bluestem, Little ‘Badlands’ Ecotype

(Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Baldlands’)

bluestem-little-badlands-ecotype

Native. Warm season, perennial bunch-grass which grows in mixed-grass prairie. Drought tolerant. Often grows on dry hillsides. Attractive seed heads are fluffy when mature. Foliage turns pinkish-red in autumn. Grows 1-3 feet tall. Photo credit: USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center

Grama, Blue ‘Bad River’ Ecotype

(Bouteloua gracilis ‘Bad River’)

grama-blue-bad-river-ecotype

Native. Warm season. Short, drought-tolerant plants produce interesting “eyebrow” seedheads. Use as garden accent, edging plant, or for low maintenance turf. Grows 4″-12″ tall. Photo credit; USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center

Grama, Sideoats ‘Pierre’

(Bouteloua curtipendula ‘Pierre’)

grama-sideoatspierre

Native. Warm season, leafy, sod-forming midgrass. Seed hang along one side of the flower stalks, adding landscape appeal. Produces bright orange pollen. Interesting garden plant. Grows 8″-24″ tall. Photo credit: USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center

Buffalograss ‘Bowie’

(Buchloe dactyloides ‘Bowie’)

buffalograss-bowie

Native. Warm season, short grass for the prairie garden or for fine-leafed turf. Spreads by stolons to form small colony. Likes clay soil. Shade intolerant. Low water and fertilizer requirements. Turf needs little mowing to look neat. Greens up later in spring and goes dormant earlier in the fall than bluegrass. Grows 3″-6″ tall.

Sweetgrass

(Hierochloe odorata)

sweetgrass

Native. Cool-season grass inhabits wet, sandy soil along rivers and lakes. Crushed leaves smell like vanilla or sweet clover due to coumarin content. Native American cultures burn dried sweetgrass braids in traditional ceremonies. Spreads vigorously if weeds are controlled and soil is moist. Grows 1-3 feet tall. Photo credit” USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center

Wildrye, Virginia

(Elymus virginicus)

wildrye-virginia

A cool season bunch grass that grows 2″-3″ tall. It prefers moist, heavier-textured soils and is shade tolerant. Has beardless heads that stay upright at maturity.

Wildrye, Canada ‘Mandan’

(Elymus canadensis ‘Mandan’)

wildrye-canada-mandan

Native. NRCS release from Morton County, North Dakota. A cool-season perennial with whimsical dropping seedheads. Easy to grow in average to moist soil. Seedheads provide winter interest in the garden or landscape. Grows 2 -4 feet tall. Photo credit: USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center

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