• Pink flowers blossom in the garden of a white two-room cottage.

    Herbert Hoover

    National Historic Site Iowa


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.

Find research reports and data »

Tall Indian grasses bloom green against a blue sky.
Indian grass
NPS Photo

Did You Know?

Hoover's birthplace as it appeared before restoration: a two-story white frame house.

Herbert Hoover's birthplace was a tourist attraction as early as 1928. Jennie Scellers, the house's owner, charged 10 cents for tours and set up a souvenir stand on her lawn. More...