Plants found in temperate grasslands include Buffalo grass, ryegrass, foxtail, wild oats and purple needle grass. Wildflowers and a few trees and large shrubs also grow in grassland areas.
Tall grasses grow in grasslands that receive approximately 30 inches of rainfall each year. Little bluestem and needle grass typically grow up to 4 feet high, while big bluestem and switchgrass can grow as high as 7 feet. The big bluestem grass changes from its blue-green hue to a reddish color when the temperature becomes colder. The purple coneflower is around 5 feet tall and commonly used in herbal medicine. The American bison subsists on Buffalo grass and big bluestem grass, which people also use as hay.
Some of the common flowers found in grasslands include wild indigos, clovers, sunflowers and goldenrods. The blazing star, also called button snakeroot, is a yellow flower that blossoms from August to September. It grows in dry areas with moist ground and lots of sunlight.
Many grassland animals feed on grasses, thriving due to the grasses’ close growth point to the ground. These plants often survive wildfires due to fact that their stems and buds grow underground. The few trees and shrubs that grow in temperate grasslands typically cannot withstand flames.