Grasses & Cattails
Notable native plants of the Northwest Pioneers Greenway
Common name: Big bluestem (Turkey foot)
Scientific name: Andropogon gerardii
Description: Tall perennial grass (100-150cm) growing in clumps. Flower heads are 5-10cm long, purplish and resemble a turkey foot.
Habitat and distribution: Common in remnant prairies
Flowering Season: July-September
Location on NPG: Common in no-mow areas along the trail.
Common name: Needle and thread grass (Spear grass)
Scientific name: Stipa comata
Description: Tufted perennial grass 30-60cm in height with long seed awns.
Habitat and distribution: Native prairie / uncommon
Flowering season: July - August
Location on NPG: Between Springfield and Douglas Ave. on Raleigh side of trail.
Common name: Little bluestem
Scientific name: Schizachyrium scoparium
Description: Densely tufted grass 30-70cm tall. Becomes red-tinged in July and August
Habitat and distribution: Dry native prairie / locally rare.
Flowering season: July - September
Location on NPG: Near Concordia Ave. on Gateway side of trail.
Common name: Green needle grass
Scientific name: Stipa viridula
Description: Cool season clump forming grass 30-60cm tall.
Habitat and distribution: Native prairie / rare
Flowering season: May - June
Location on NPG: Between Springfield and Douglas Ave. on Raleigh side of trail. Also near Concordia Ave.
Common name: Common Cattail
Scientific name: Typha latifolia
Description: Aquatic perennial 1-2m high. Leaves greyish green, grass-like in appearance. Female flowers are very tiny and arranged in a dense, brown, cylindrical spike with a yellowish tip of male flowers. Fruit; Achenes with slender hairs to allow for floatation.
Habitat and distribution: Ponds, marshes, ditches and standing water / Common
Flowering season: May - July
Location on NPG: Widespread in areas with sufficient moisture