Big bluestem seedheads cured to a dark brown in late summer.

Big bluestem fills the vast open spaces of the restored prairie.

NPS Photo

Grasslands dominate the natural areas of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The restored tallgrass prairie accounts for about 81 of the park's 187 acres. The most abundant prairie grass is big bluestem with Indian grass, switchgrass, little bluestem, side-oats grama, and Canada wild rye completing the grass complex. Visitors may find small patches of Virginia wild rye and slough or cord grass in wet parts of the prairie. The prairie includes about five acres of wet meadow. The remaining area is drier upland habitat.

Botanists call prairie grasses "warm-season" grasses, because they grow abundantly in hot weather. These grasses form their seed heads in late summer and fall. At that time of year, the prairie looks lovely with the tall seed plumes waving high in the breeze.

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Tall Indian grasses bloom green against a blue sky.

Indian grass

NPS Photo

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