Noteworthy and native: Late summer grasses

For most people, the words “grass” and “lawn” go together like mac and cheese. Yet in the month of August, it’s easy to see that some grasses are anything but lawn-like. Low-growing purple love grass offers luminescent splashes of color along roadsides. The airy tops of switchgrass decorate wet fields and woodland edges. American beach grass reduces beach erosion. In the fields at Harkness State Park, little blue stem and Indiangrass offer food and habitat for birds.

These are not your grandfather’s lawn grasses.

New Englanders can be forgiven if we are not very grass aware. Our climate and soil favor trees and shrubs, not grasslands. Even before our area became so intensely developed, most native grasses were opportunistic invaders. They sprung up in spaces opened by fires, lightning, or beaver activity. 

To learn more, please see my latest article on native grasses at Zip06/TheDay. If you have trouble with the link, please download the article below. 

Purple love grass, Eragrostis spectabilis