Grassland Biome Plants

Written by jenny e
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Grassland Biome Plants
Grassland biomes have low precipitation. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Grassland biomes are characterised by large, open tracts of land, with flowers and grasses. The plants in the grassland biome are mostly grasses because the annual precipitation is not enough to support the growth of most trees. There are a few shrubs and trees, but the grasses and other smaller plants are better adapted to survive the sometimes drought-like conditions in the grasslands.

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Clover

Clover is a genus containing about 300 species of plants. They are small biennial, annual or short-lived perennial herbaceous plants, which usually occur in grassland environments. Most species of clover have trifoliate leaves, meaning the leaves have three-toothed leaflets.

Buffalo Grass

Buffalo grass is a perennial plant native to the grassland biomes. It is well-suited to this region because it is able to withstand prolonged droughts and extreme temperatures. It also has excellent seed-producing characteristics, which enable it to survive extreme environmental conditions. This characteristic allows the grass to regenerate even when there is overgrazing by livestock. Buffalo grass spreads by means of runners, stolons and seeds. It does not possess underground stands or rhizomes, and it usually grows to between 8 and 10 inches high. Individual leaf blades of buffalo grass may reach between 10 and 12 inches in length.

Sunflower

The sunflower is a plant adapted to grow in the grassland biome. It is tolerant of extreme temperatures, and the seeds will germinate even when the temperature is cold. The sunflower is moderately drought-resistant and will regenerate even when other crops have been damaged during a drought. Sunflowers are usually propagated by insects such as bees that carry pollen from plants to plant in a process known as cross-pollination. Sunflowers also produce edible seeds, and seed maturity can be seen when the fleshy sunflower heads turn yellow.

Wild Indigo

Wild indigo are grassland plants made up of several species. All of the wild indigo plants are pollinated by insects such as the wild indigo duskywing. The duskywing is a type of butterfly that lays its eggs on the plants. There is a kind of symbiotic relationship between the duskywing and the wild indigo because the wild indigo secretes a kind of mild toxin, which makes it unpalatable for grazing animals. The duskywing caterpillar uses this chemical to protect itself from predators while the duskywing butterfly helps pollinates the wild indigo plants. Wild indigo plants produce seed pods, which may break off in autumn winds, scattering the small seeds they contain.

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