Family: Poaceae

grass family

Grasses are annual, biennial, or perennial plants that are usually herbaceous but may be woody in some genera. They may be terrestrial or aquatic. The leaves may be evergreen or deciduous and are all basal or alternate, and usually much longer than wide. The leaves have parallel veins and consist of a cylindrical sheath that wraps around the stem with a blade above it. The stems have conspicuous nodes where the base of the leaf attaches. The flowers are generally small, without obvious sepals or petals, and are arranged in structures called spikelets that consist of the flowers with specialized subtending scales (called glumes, lemmas, and paleas). There are from 1-3 stamens and 2-3 styles topped with branched stigmas designed to capture pollen from the air. The fruit is usually a caryopsis (i.e., a grain).

This Family’s Genera in New England:

Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key