North American Native Grassland Plants
People on the North American continent have long appreciated and admired the native grasslands of the prairie areas. Even the music of these areas has been influenced by the beauty of the grasslands using such phrases as “amber waves of grain”. The North American native grassland plants are not only beautiful the represent an important ecological part of the continent and provide a home for many of the native animals. By learning about the North American native grassland plants a person can become a better conservationist of the land and can more appreciate the significance of the native grassland plants.
Species Of Native Grassland Plants
As indicated by the title “grassland” the majority of the plants in the area are actually grasses. People tend to think of grass as the lawns grown in their own yards but actually there are many wild grasses that have beautiful foliage and flowers. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior has divided the grasslands into basically three species groups: the tall-grass prairie, the mixed-grass prairie, and the short-grass prairie.
These distinct areas are easily recognized when traveling through the native grassland areas buy the type of grassland plants that are growing and the height of the plants. The taller grasses are wheatgrass, bluestem and needlegrass. The short grasses are mostly buffalo grass which is more conducive to the grazing habits of the native grazing animals. The mixed grass area is a combination of the species.
Observing Native American Grassland Plants
A great way to learn about and observe the Native American grassland plants is to visit one of the many state or national parks in the prairie states. These parks are very focused on the conservation of all the plants and animals native to the areas. The visitor’s centers offer great information and lectures about the grassland plants and animals.
A person interested in this type of information should consider visiting Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas which was created in 1996 to preserve the grasslands of the area and to allow people to view and learn about this important part of the country. Another park with a grassland plants emphasis, as well as other features, is the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota where the Bad Lands and prairie meet to create a beautiful environment.
This park was named for President Theodore Roosevelt in recognition of his great contribution to conserving the nation’s natural environment and history and provides a great place to observe the native grassland plants and the environment they grow in.