Description: Accurate identification is fundamental in any study of grasses by farmers, ranchers, range specialists, ecologists, or students interested in the changes taking place in the grass habitat. Frequently it is convenient, and sometimes it is necessary, to identify the grasses by their vegetative characters. Some are readily recognized at a glance by their habitat and certain characters well known to the experienced observer. In other cases, identification is more difficult; and, perhaps with a few, it is impossible to be certain of the species from vegetative characters. However, this may also be true when the characters of the floral parts alone are considered. The inflorescence, used in most keys and descriptions, is often available only for a short period of time. Identification by the characters of the vegetation can be used throughout the growing season, even if grazing or mowing has removed or prevented the development of the floral parts. There have been other studies of grass identification related to vegetative characters, but they have been local and have not covered North Central Texas. This paper provides a means of identifying grasses by their vegetative characters. It can be used by the scientist, the technician, and the layman interested in the grasses of North Central Texas. A key using technical terminology is provided for use by the ecologist, range specialist, plant taxonomist, and student in these areas of study. For the ranchman, farmer, greens keeper, gardener, or nurseryman, a key with symbols is given that can be used without a technical knowledge of taxonomic botany. The distribution maps and diagnoses will aid any user of the keys. They will also make available additional information that may be useful in the establishment of a numerical classification and identification of plants--grasses in particular.
Date: August 1970
Creator: Smith, David Lawrence, 1932-
Partner: UNT Libraries