Grass plants are prized for their wonderful variety of textures, forms, and colors. But their flowers? Not so much. Grasses are wind pollinated; no need to put on a showy flower display to attract insects. Technically, what we see is an inflorescence composed of tiny flowers, or florets, protected by bracts. The bracts are the showy structures that add a second tier of visual impact to the landscape. Here are a few of the grasses that are blooming now in my garden:
I love switch grass, and my favorite is this blue cultivar, Panicum virgatum 'Prairie Sky' Note the tiny burgundy-red flowers.
|This panicle type inflorescence looks like beads on crimped wires to me!|
|Red flowers here, too, on a spike inflorescence|
|Although this also looks like another spike inflorescence, it will open into a raceme as it matures a bit|
|Note the minute yellow flowers. The hair-like structure is an awn|