Grasses: Introductory topics

Grass names

Introduction to grass names, including scientific genus and species names, hybrid names, cultivar names, and trade names.

Photograph of grains of pearl millet. The photo shows small, round grains that are light to medium brow

Grass diversity and classification

Introduction to the diversity and classification of grasses, including the major clades, the subfamilies, and selected tribes, genera, and species.

Photograph of common reed inflorescence. The photo shows feathery beige inflorescence at the ends of yellow stalks.

Grass morphology and anatomy

Introduction to the structure of the grass plant, including the morphology (form) and anatomy (internal structure) of stems, roots, and leaves. Also covers the organization of the reproductive structures.

Photograph of the stem of false brome showing a swollen node. The stem is oriented horizontally, and the swollen node has prominent white hairs on it. 

Grass life cycle and reproduction

Introduction to the life cycle and reproduction of grasses, including sexual and asexual reproduction.

Photograph of part of an inflorescence of quaking grass. The photo shows an ovate inflorescence pendant from a delicate red branch. The glumes of the spikelets overlap one another, and a few open yellowish anther are sticking out.

Grass genetics

Introduction to the genetics of grasses, including DNA, genes, chromosomes, inheritance, and polyploidy.

Photograph of the 20 chromosomes in a diploid maize cell. The photo shows light blue chromosomes photographed on a dark blue background. Each chromosome consists of two linear chromatids joined at a constricted area.