Running List of Grass Resources

This is a live document. I will keep updating and revising this page as I find new resources and continue to explore/use them.

Jim Conrad's Naturalist Newsletter
An excellent starting point for those starting out with grasses. Species entries are oriented towards field identification and more geared towards a general audience, and thus easier to read.

Jim also notes the patterns among genera and groups of grasses. Learning the field marks for these subgroups is a lot easier than trying to recognize each species individually, which is why personally I started by trying to recognize grass genera rather than individual species, although many of the common species can be learned along the way.

Plants of Texas Rangelands - Grasses
Has profiles on many grasses with a brief description, but also useful information habitat, ecology, and forage value for livestock and wildlife. Taken from "Know Your Grasses" book.

USDA Forest Service - Fire Effects Information System
Has species profiles for a lot of grass species across the United States. Detailed information given on habitat types, associated plant species/communities, ecosystem/cover types, wildlife and livestock use, forage value and useful information for range management, just a LOT of very, very useful information. It also has sources cited as well, so you can trace the information back to their sources! Also not just limited to grasses but rather includes wildlife in general.

You won't find every grass species on here, (for example Eastern gamagrass and Silver bluestem are oddly missing), but if it does have a profile... jackpot of information.

Alred, K W (1982). "Describing the Grass Inflorescence."
The best paper I have found to explain grass inflorescence terminology so far. The pictograms on page 674 + "Proposed Terminology for the Grass Inflorescence" section I found particularly useful.

The pdf to the paper can be found in various sites but I found it first here:

Flora of North America (FNA)
Poaceae is treated in Flora of North America, so you can find a detailed description for just about every single grass species within the Continental United States and Canada. The generic keys are excellent too; I typically will use them to single out differences between a few chosen species, though I prefer using my more regional Flora of North Central Texas for keying plants out. But the illustrations are a lifesaver; they have close-ups of spikelets and florets with just about everything you could ever want labeled. I refer to them frequently alongside the descriptions, or in conjunction with a regional flora.

You will generally find the illustrations either on the species pages or in the infraspecific taxa (subspecies, varieties). If missing, then check the pages for the subspecies or varieties.

International Seed Morphology Association
Did not know this existed, but worth checking out. Despite the name, they have photographs of spikelets as well! Used in conjunction with technical descriptions, they could be useful.

The link below leads to a very detailed and slightly overwhelming page covering variation in grass spikelet structure.

Posted on Δεκέμβριος 28, 2023 0700 ΜΜ by arnanthescout arnanthescout


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