Grasses come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from turf grasses, such as bluegrass, to agricultural grasses, including wheat, to huge bamboos. Regardless of the type, the life cycle is similar in each species of grass.
The life cycle of grass begins with a small seed. Grass seeds are typically very small, allowing them to be easily dispersed. Inside the seeds is the genetic material to produce another grass plant.
When conditions are right, the grass seed germinates and begins to grow. Starches in the seed provide energy for the plant to grow, at first. Later, the seeds produces a root and stems with leaves.
As the seedling matures, it produces rhizomes or stolons, specialised stems that run outward from the centre of the plant. These spread the plant across the ground, sprouting more roots and starting new grass plants vegetatively.
Within a few months of sprouting, the mature grass plant reproduces sexually. The plant grows a tall stem with an inflorescence at the end, which contains small flowers. Each flower contains a male organ, called the anther and a female organ called the pistil.
When the pollen from the anther contacts the pistil, it releases sperms cells that enter the pistil to fertilise the ovules inside. These eventually become seeds.
The grass seeds, once mature, will fall to the ground to germinate and continue the grass plant's life cycle.
- Birmingham Grid for Learning: The Life Cycle of Plants
- Daily Knowledge Tree: Plant Life Cycle Diagram
- University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: Parts of a Grass Plant
- City College of San Francisco: Angiosperms
- University of Illinois Turfgrass Program: Grass Identification Features