Grasses of Kansas

Grasses of Kansas

How well do you know your grasses?

This guide contains key information on the many diverse grasses of Kansas, whether they come from the tallgrass prairie, the sandsage prairie, or just the average roadside ditch. For each plant, you will learn characteristics, distribution, life cycle, ecology, uses, hazards, and similar species.

Whether your interest is as a nature buff, an ornamental gardener, or a dedicated grazier, we hope you’ll find the information you need to identify and properly manage the grasses on your property.

Need help with botanical terminology? Visit our grass glossary.

Foxtail Barley

Foxtail Barley (Hordeum jubatum)

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)

Big Bluestem

Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

Little Bluestem

Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Silver Bluestem

Silver Bluestem (Bothriochloa saccharoides)

Smooth Brome

Smooth Brome (Bromus inermis)

Buffalo Grass

Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides)

Sand Dropseed

Sand Dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus)

Green Foxtail

Green Foxtail (Setaria viridis)

Eastern Gamagrass

Eastern Gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides)

Side-Oats Grama

Side-oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)

Indian Grass

Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans)

Johnson Grass

Johnson Grass (Sorghum halepense)

Broad-Leaf Wood-Oats

Broad-Leaf Wood-Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)

Orchard Grass

Orchard Grass (Dactylis glomerata)

Canada Wild Rye

Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis)

Virginia Wild Rye

Virginia Wild Rye (Elymus virginicus)

Sandbur (Cenchrus longispinus)


Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Purple Threeawn

Purple Threeawn (Aristida purpurea)