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Plant Group

Grasses

Grasses are plants with long, linear leaves growing from the base of the plant and tiny, wind-pollinated flowers.

The stems are hollow, and leaves wrap around the stem and are generally attached at nodes or distinct swellings on the stem. Grasses die back at the end of the growing season. Examples include Kentucky bluegrass, big bluestem, and wild rice.

At Budburst we also include in this grouping plants that have a grass-like appearance and exhibit similar phenophases; these include cattails, sedges, and rushes.

Phenology Status

Plants are unique, and one phase on one grass species might look a little different than the same phase on another grass species. Full Flowering/Pollen looks different for Little bluestem than it does for Parry’s oatgrass.

Correct identification of flowering and fruiting events for this plant group usually requires a magnifying glass or macro lens.

Flowers

No Flowering Stalks

No flower stalks have emerged.

First Stalk

First flower stalk is emerging from the stem of the grass and you can see the first flower cluster (spikelet) rising above the leaves of the stem.

Early Flowering

Only a few flower stalks have emerged (less than 5%).

Middle Flowering

Many flower stalks have emerged.

No Pollen

No pollen is falling.

First Flowering/Pollen

Plant starts releasing the powdery yellow pollen when touched. When open, grass flowers will release yellow pollen dust when touched.

Early Pollen

Some pollen is falling (less than 5%). 

Middle Pollen

Half or more of the grass flowers are open and releasing pollen.

Fruits or Seeds

No Ripe Fruit

No ripe fruits or seeds visible.

First Ripe Fruit

First fruits becoming fully ripe or seeds dropping naturally from the plant. For grasses, fruits are fully ripe when the seed is hard when squeezed and is difficult to divide with a fingernail.

Early Fruiting

Only a few ripe fruits or seeds are visible (less than 5%).

Middle Fruiting

Half or more of the fruits or seeds are fully ripe.

Late Fruiting

Most fruits or seeds have been dispersed from the plant (over 95%).

Leaves

First Leaf Emerged

First leaf has emerged. The leaf shape should be clearly visible above ground.

Middle Leaves

Most or all of the leaves that developed this season are green and healthy or green at their base. Note that cool-season grasses often die back during dry or hot periods, but are still green at the base of the leaves so are in the "middle" stage.

All Leaves Withered

Most or all of the leaves that developed this season have lost green color or are dried and dead. Note that cool-season grasses often die back during dry or hot periods, but are still green at the base of the leaves so have not yet reached the “all leaves withered” stage.

Find a Budburst Grass Species

Here are some examples of Grass species

  1. Sweetgrass
  2. Torrey's rush
  3. Yellow sedge

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