Native Warm-Season Grasses

Native warm-season grasses (nwsg) are grasses historically native to an area that grow during the warm months of the year and are dormant during autumn and winter. They differ from cool-season grasses, which make their active growth during spring and fall.

There are many warm-season grasses native to the Mid-South region; however, there are six species most commonly promoted as cover for wildlife and/or forage for livestock. These are big bluestem, little bluestem, indian grass, switch grass, sideoats grama and eastern gamagrass.

big bluestemLittle bluestem

indian grassswitch grass

eastern gamagrasssideoats grama

Native warm-season grasses provide many benefits when used and managed properly. These include wildlife habitat, agricultural forage for hay and pasture, vegetation to filter sediment and pesticides where crop fields border are adjacent to waterways, excellent soil erosion control once established, and ornamental landscaping.

For more information about establishing native warm-season grasses, click here.