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Content tagged with "warm season grass"

Photo of several big bluestem seed heads against a blue sky.

Big Bluestem (Seed Heads)

Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) is the most famous grass of the tallgrass prairie. Its flowering stalks can reach 8 feet tall. Another common name, “turkey foot,” can help you identify big bluestem: The seed heads usually branch into three parts, resembling turkey feet.

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Photo of several big bluestem seed heads against a blue sky.

Grasses

All true grasses (species in the grass family).
Missouri has 276 species in the grass family, including well-known crop plants and our native prairie grasses. Distinguishing between the species can be difficult, but it’s easy to learn some basics about the group.

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Photo of Indian grass culm, held in a hand showing pointed auricle.

Indian Grass (Auricle)

Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) is one of our most important native warm-season tallgrasses. You can easily confirm your identification by noting its pair of stiff, pointed, clawlike auricles where the leaf blade attaches to the sheath. Auricles, hairs, and other structures at the junction of blade and sheath can be important in identifying grasses.

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Native Warm-Season Grass Pastures

Add native warm-season grasses to your Missouri pastures to improve summer livestock forage and wildlife habitat.

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Queen of the Kingdom of Callaway

This content is archived
Eastern gamagrass returns to a central Missouri farm.

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Photo of sideoats grama, closeup on floral spikes showing orange anthers.

Sideoats Grama (Flowers)

Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) has elongated flowering heads with 30-70 spikes that all hang downward on one side of the stem. Each spike holds 2-8 florets. The anthers are usually reddish orange to orange. Interestingly, when the grains mature, each entire spike is shed as a unit, scales and all, eventually leaving behind a completely bare stalk after they fall off.

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