Plant Life

Most of the plant life in the grasslands are grasses. They include Blue Grama, Buffalo grass, Big Blue stem, switch grass and Little Blue Stem just to name a few. The tall grasses will grow where rainfall is about 30 inches a year. The Big Blue stem and switch grass can grow 7 feet tall. The little blue stem and needle grass types grow up to 4 feet high. In the Rocky Mountains, buffalo grass and blue grama grow between 4 and 18 inches tall. There are 23 species of plants per square yard in the grassland. The stems and leaves of all plants are made up of chloroplasts.

The Purple Cone Flower is a magenta plant that blooms in the mid-summer, early fall, and mid-fall. The Purple Cone Flower grows from 3 to 5 feet. The scientific name for it is Echinacea Pupurea. Purple Cone Flowers are used for herbs in teas, medicine, and decorations. The American Indians used Purple Cone Flowers to heal wounds, insect bites, stings and snake bites. These plants can stimulate the production of white blood cells. They are in the sunflower family Asteraceae. Aster means star in Greek. They can be found in all of North Dakota except the northeastern corner. Their range is from Saskatchewan to Texas. The Purple Cone Flower attracts Japanese beetles.

Another plant found in the grassland is the Big Blue Stem, is also called tallest of the tall, turkey claw, turkey foot grass, and king of the prairie. The scientific name is Andropogon Gerardii. This grass falls in the herbaceous perennial category. They can grow up to six feet tall, start to grow in April, and flower in the late summer. This grass grows where the rainfall is about 30 inches. Big blue stem turns red as it gets colder. American bison eat big blue stem. Humans as use this type of grass as hay. The big blue stem keeps the wind from blowing away dirt in this biome. The dust bowl of the 1930's began because farmers mowed the big blue stem.


Finally the blazing star is in the loasa family. It is also known as button snakeroot or liatris. This plant has yellow petals, and blooms from August to September. It ranges from the northern United States to Texas. It survives in environments that are dry, with moist land, and plenty of sun.








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Plant Life
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