Which plants are grasses: discover some of them

Within the plant kingdom, there are many families and plants that are classified into groups because they are similar. Some are better known than others, but still, sometimes you have to look for more information about them, especially if they are related to an allergy. These are usually called grasses, but what plants are grasses?

If you have been diagnosed with an allergy, or you already had it and you need to take a look at the plants that you should not go near, take a look at what we have prepared for you.

What are grasses

What is grass used for?

The first thing you should know about grasses is that they are herbaceous plants in most cases. These have an annual or perennial cycle, that is, they can only live for a few months a year, or last for 12 months.

In total there are about 12,000 different species, 20% of the vegetation we have on earth.

Their scientific name is Poaceae, but they are not known as much as by the name of grasses.

Visually, the vast majority of grasses are herbaceous, as we have told you, but it may be the case that some are rhizomatous or even woody (although we already tell you that it is not usual).. The stems of these plants are called canes. (because they are cylindrical and hollow) and these can be aerial (either because they are floating, crawling or ascending) or underground (in the case of pseudobulbs or rhizomes).

Regarding the leaves, most have sheaths, blades and ligules. Sometimes these “leaves” are much more beautiful than the bloom that the plant may have. And speaking of her, when it enters this phase, spikelets are produced that are loaded with flowers and these with pollen, which is the reason why many people should stay away from them (because of the allergy they cause). In fact, in Spain it is one of the most allergenic.

types of grasses

outdoor planting

Now that you know which plants are grasses, and the characteristics that they have, Could you think that there are several types? Among its 12,000 species, there are surely many different classifications. However, we understand that there would be two large groups:

consumption grasses

They are those plants that are used for human food. That is, they are consumed in a person’s diet, such as flours, oils, cereals…

But also in this large group we could include the so-called fodder grasses, which are those that are used to feed birds and livestock with the aim of feeding them, allowing them to grow and then slaughtering them in order to feed people.

So, one way or another, these plants reach the human being, hence, many get to know if they are allergic or not by eating certain foods (and later with the relevant tests).

ornamental grasses

The second large group within these plants are ornamental grasses. That is, those that are used in gardens and terraces to decorate with them. The objective is that these, due to their herbaceous habit, give a little movement, as well as different textures and environments, to the entire garden.

In addition, they not only have this use, but the vast majority of grasses help to give gardens a more natural touch and make their maintenance more sustainable and easy.

Of course, When using them, you must be very careful in case the person who lives in the house is allergic to the pollen of these plants., since, if so, it would not be recommended to have it. But to give you an idea, one of the most ornamental (and also used) is the grass itself.

What plants are grasses


To finish, we would like to talk to you about some of the plants that are grasses. And it is that it is common to know those intended for consumption (human or animal), but not so much other types of grasses such as ornamental ones (which you could have in your garden).

Muhlenbergia capillaris

This plant can reach a height and width of one meter, with spikes that will flower in autumn and will give it a curious touch, since they put out very small pink flowers that will dye the plant.

Cylindrical order “Red Baron”

About the cylindrical imperata we talked to you on another occasion, a herb characterized by having the tips of the “leaves” red while the rest of them are green.

It doesn’t grow much, just about 45 centimeters, but it does allow you to have a curious soil thanks to the bicolor of its leaves.

Miscanthus sinensis zebrinus

Another of the plants that are ornamental grasses is this, striking when you see it since its “leaves” are green and yellow, as if it were a zebra.

As for the flowers, they will appear on the spikes in summer, and they will be white. (which will make the plant stand out more).

Cyperus papirus

This plant needs an aquatic environment to be able to develop properly. And it is that when it does, it can grow with a long stem from which the leaves will emerge in a curious way: in umbrellas, completely covering it and emerald green.

In its flowering season the spikes will be brown.

Cortaderia senoalla

Better known as Pampa Grass, Carrizo de la Pampa, is one of the most appreciated grass plants. It grows to a meter and a half in height but the most beautiful thing is its spikeswhich will be feathery and that is why it attracts so much attention.

consumption grasses

As we do not want to leave you without examples of this group, Here is a list of some of the most common:

  • Rice.
  • Avena.
  • Bamboo.
  • Barley.
  • Sugar cane.
  • Centeno.
  • Wheat.
  • Corn.
  • Mijo.

It is not usual to have them planted in the garden, but you can find fields of cultivation of these plants.

As you can see, there are many plants that are grasses. What you should keep in mind is that many can become invasive if they are planted where they should not (or be prohibited). Did you know this family of plants?

Now that you know which plants are grasses, and that they could cause allergies, Would you venture to put ornamentals in your garden?

Which plants are grasses: discover some of them

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