This is a listing of grasses and sedges represented in the Wildflower Garden today with a few additions that were historically present but no longer extant, or are common in Minnesota.
Nomenclature has changed over the last 100 years from that which the early curators (Eloise Butler and Martha Crone) used and we have provided the more current classification as used by the major listings in use today, particularly Flora of North America, the USDA Plants Database and in Minnesota the Annotated Checklist of the Vascular Flora of Minnesota.
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Gilbert White, in his The Natural History of Selborne, wrote in a letter to fellow naturalist Daines Barrington: "But of all sorts of vegetation the grasses seem to be the most neglected; neither the farmer nor the grazier seem to distinguish the annual from the perennial, the hardy from the tender, nor the succulent and nutritive from the dry and juiceless. The study of grasses would be of great consequence to a northerly, and grazing kingdom. The botanist that could improve the swerd of the district where he lived would be a useful member of society, to raise a thick turf on a naked soil would be worth volumes of systematic knowledge; and he would be the best commonwealth’s man that could occasion the growth of ‘two blades of grass where one alone was seen before.’ " June 2, 1778.