Grass: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cut grass

Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the Poaceae (or Gramineae) family, as well as the sedges (Cyperaceae) and the rushes (Juncaceae). The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns (turf) and grassland. Sedges include many wild marsh and grassland plants, and some cultivated ones such as water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis) and papyrus sedge (Cyperus papyrus). Uses for graminoids include food (as grain, sprouted grain, shoots or rhizomes), drink (beer, whisky), pasture for livestock, thatch, paper, fuel, insulation, construction, sports turf, basket weaving and many others.



Graminoids are among the most versatile life forms. They became widespread toward the end of the Cretaceous period, and fossilized dinosaur dung (coprolites) have been found containing phytoliths of a variety of grasses that include the ancestors of rice and bamboo.[1] Grasses have adapted to conditions in lush rain forests, dry deserts, cold mountains and even intertidal habitats, and are now the most widespread plant type; grass is a valuable source of food and energy for all sorts of wildlife and organics.

A kangaroo eating grass.

Graminoids are the dominant vegetation in many habitats, including grassland, salt-marsh, reedswamp and steppes. They also occur as a smaller part of the vegetation in almost every other terrestrial habitat.

There are some 3,500 species of graminoids.[2]

Many types of animals eat grass as their main source of food, and are called graminivores – these include cattle, sheep, horses, rabbits and many invertebrates, such as grasshoppers and the caterpillars of many brown butterflies. Grasses are also eaten by omnivorous or even occasionally by primarily carnivorous animals.

In the study of ecological communities, herbaceous plants are divided into graminoids and forbs, which are herbaceous dicotyledons, mostly with broad leaves.


Plants of this type have always been important to humans. They have been grown as food for domesticated animals for up to 10,000 years. (See grass fed beef.) They have been used for paper-making since 2400 BC or before. Now they provide the majority of food crops, and have many other uses, such as feeding animals, and for lawns. There are many minor uses, and grasses are familiar to most human cultures.

Grasses used as an ornamental planting


The smell of the freshly cut grass is produced mainly by cis-3-Hexenal.[3]


In some places, particularly in suburban areas throughout the world, the maintenance of a grass lawn is a sign of a homeowner's responsibility to the overall appearance of their neighborhood. One work credits lawn maintenance to

...the desire for upward mobility and its manifestation in the lawn. As Virginia Jenkins, author of The Lawn, put it quite bluntly, 'Upper middle-class Americans emulated aristocratic society with their own small, semi-rural estates.' In general, the lawn was one of the primary selling points of these new suburban homes, as it shifted social class designations from the equity and ubiquity of urban homes connected to the streets with the upper-middle class designation of a "healthy" green space and the status symbol that is the front lawn.[4][5]

Many municipalities and homeowner's associations have rules which require lawns to be maintained to certain specifications, sanctioning those who allow the grass to grow too long. In communities with drought problems, watering of lawns may be restricted to certain times of day or days of the week.[6] Some people have allergies to grass.[citation needed]

Sports turf

Forms of grass are used to cover baseball fields, like this one in Citi Field, home of the Mets.

Grass is important in many sports, notably with those played on fields such as American football, Association football, baseball, cricket, and rugby. In some sports facilities, including indoor domes and places where maintenance of a grass field would be difficult, grass may be replaced with artificial turf, a synthetic grass-like substitute. Sports such as golf, tennis and cricket are particularly dependent on the quality of the grass on which the sport is played.


The gray area is the cricket pitch currently in use. Parallel to it are other pitches in various states of preparation which could be used in other matches.

In cricket, the pitch is the strip of carefully mowed and rolled grass where the bowler bowls. In the days leading up to the match it is repeatedly mowed and rolled to produce a very hard, flat surface for the ball to bounce off. The quality of the preparation can have a considerable influence on the game; a relatively grassy pitch will favor bowlers and a hard and dryer pitch, with less grass remaining, will typically favor batsmen (at least initially). As the grass dries out and is damaged over the course of the match the pitch's characteristics will change, resulting in batting on the first day of a test match being vastly different to batting on the same pitch after 5 days of play.


Golf is very dependent on a quality grass surface. Grass on golf courses is kept in three distinct conditions: that of the rough, the fairway, and the putting green. Grass on the fairway is short and even, allowing the player to cleanly strike the ball. Playing from the rough is a disadvantage because the grass is generally much longer, which may affect the flight of the ball. Grass on the putting green is the shortest and most even, ideally allowing the ball to roll smoothly over the surface. An entire industry revolves around the development and marketing of grasses for golf courses.


In tennis, grass is grown on very hard-packed soil, and bounce may vary depending on the grass's health, how recently it has been mowed, and the wear and tear of recent play. The surface is softer than hard courts and clay (other tennis surfaces), so the ball bounces lower, and players must reach the ball faster resulting in a different style of play which may suit some players more than others. The most famous grass tennis court in the world is Centre Court at Wimbledon located in England, home of the Wimbledon Championship. This is considered the most expensive lawn in the world.


Grass plays a central role in two important science fiction catastrophe novels from the 1940s and 1950s, Ward Moore's Greener Than You Think, in which the world is slowly taken over by unstoppable Bermuda Grass, and John Christopher's The Death of Grass, in which a plague that kills off all forms of grass threatens the survival of the human species.



  1. ^ Dinosaurs Dined on Grass by Dolores R. Piperno and Hans-Dieter Sues, Science, 18 November 2005: Vol. 310. no. 5751, pp. 1126 - 1128.
  2. ^ The Observers Book of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes by Francis Rose, published by Frederick Warne, Revised Edition Nov 1974, page 5, ISBN 0-7232-1533-2
  3. ^ hexenal (School of Chemistry, University of Bristol)
  4. ^ Matthew J. Lindstrom, Hugh Bartling, Suburban sprawl: culture, theory, and politics (2003), p. 72, quoting Virginia Scott Jenkins, The Lawn: A History of an American Obsession (1994), p.21.
  5. ^ Paul Robbins and Julie T. Sharp, "Producing and Consuming Chemicals: The Moral Economy of the American Lawn", Economic Geography 79:4 (2003), p. 425-45; reprinted in William G. Moseley, David A. Lanegran, Kavita Pandit, The Introductory Reader in Human Geography (2007), p. 323-36.
  6. ^ Lawn Sprinkling Regulations in Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada


  • Chapman, G.P. and W.E. Peat. 1992. An Introduction to the Grasses. CAB Internat., Oxon, UK.
  • Cheplick, G.P. 1998. Population Biology of Grasses. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Milne, L. and M. Milne. 1967. Living Plants of the World. Chaticleer Press, N.Y.
  • Soderstrom, T.R., K.W. Hilu, C.S. Campbell, and M.E. Barkworth, eds. 1987. Grass Systematics and Evolution. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
  • Went, Frits W. 1963. The Plants. Time-Life Books, N.Y.

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote


Quotes about Grass.


  • Nothing is more pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely shorn.
  • The grass is always greener over the septic tank.
  • Gather leaves and grasses,
    Love, to-day;
    For the Autumn passes
    Soon away.
    Chilling winds are blowing.
    It will soon be snowing.
    • John Henry Boner, "Gather Leaves and Grasses", reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
  • There is not one little blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make men rejoice.
    • John Calvin, as quoted in Thomas F. Tierney, The Value of Convenience: Genealogy of Technical Culture (1993), p. 128
  • If grass can grow through cement, love can find you at every time in your life.
    • Cher, quoted in The Times, 30 May 1998
  • That the trees are high and the grasses short is a mere accident of our own foot-rules and our own stature. But to the spirit which has stripped off for a moment its own idle temporal standards the grass is an everlasting forest, with dragons for denizens; the stones of the road are as incredible mountains piled one upon the other; the dandelions are like gigantic bonfires illuminating the lands around; and the heath-bells on their stalks are like planets hung in heaven each higher than the other.
  • Each blade of grass has its spot on earth whence it draws its life, its strength; and so is man rooted to the land from which he draws his faith together with his life.
  • THE GRASS so little has to do,—
    A sphere of simple green,
    With only butterflies to brood,
    And bees to entertain,
    And stir all day to pretty tunes
    The breezes fetch along,
    And hold the sunshine in its lap
    And bow to everything.
  • You could cover the whole world with asphalt, but sooner or later green grass would break through.
    • Attributed to Ilya Ehrenburg by Patricia Blake in The New York Times Book Review, 22 October 1967, p. 1
  • The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.
  • All flesh is grass, and the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass witherith, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
  • It is of the nature of idea to be communicated: written, spoken, done. The idea is like grass. It craves light, likes crowds, thrives on crossbreeding, grows better for being stepped on.
  • Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
    Shovel them under and let me work —
    I am the grass; I cover all.
  • We trample grass and prize the flowers of May,
    Yet grass is green when flowers do fade away.
  • The virtues of a superior man are like the wind; the virtues of a common man are like the grass – I the grass, when the wind passes over it, bends.
Lawn grass.jpg
  • We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us, like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it.
  • A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
    How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.
    I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.
  • I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars.
  • She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
    But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Cornhuskers by Carl Sandburg
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Information about this edition

PILE the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
                I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
                What place is this?
                Where are we now?

                I am the grass.
                Let me work.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

  1. Heb. hatsir, ripe grass fit for mowing (1 Kg 18:5; Job 40:15; Ps 10414). As the herbage rapidly fades under the scorching sun, it is used as an image of the brevity of human life (Isa 40:6, 7; Ps 905). In Num 11:5 this word is rendered "leeks."
  2. Heb. deshe', green grass (Gen 1:11, 12; Isa 66:14; Deut 32:2). "The sickly and forced blades of grass which spring up on the flat plastered roofs of houses in the East are used as an emblem of speedy destruction, because they are small and weak, and because, under the scorching rays of the sun, they soon wither away" (2Kg 19:26; Ps 1296; Isa 37:27).

The dry stalks of grass were often used as fuel for the oven (Mt 6:30; 13:30; Lk 12:28).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English


Grass is a type of plant. A common kind of grass is used to cover the ground, in a lawn. If it gets too cold or dry, lawn grass turns brown.

There is a family of plants called the "grass family". The plants in the grass family are called grasses, but many are different from lawn grass. A few of the other plants in the grass family are corn plants, wheat plants, rushes, reeds, rice, barley, oats, millet, papyrus, water chestnut, crabgrass, and many other important types of plants. Grass has thin, green leaves that are called blades. Many grasses are short, but some grasses, like bamboo can grow very tall. Plants from the grass family can grow in many places, even if they are very cold or very dry.


Grass in nature

Grasses are an important food for many animals, like deer, buffalo, cows, mice, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and many others. Without grass, dirt can wash away into rivers, this is called erosion. Sometimes grass's roots keep trees from growing very fast, so it is better to plant clover under trees.

[[File:|250px|thumb|left|This picture shows the parts of a grass plant.]]

Grass and people

Lawn grass is planted on sports fields and in the area around a building. Many chemicals and a lot of water is used to grow lawn grass. This usually happens in suburbs.

People have used grasses for a long time. People eat parts of grasses. Corn, wheat, barley, oats, rice and millet are common grains used for food and to make alcohol such as beer. Sugar comes from sugar cane, which is also a plant in the grass family. People have grown grasses as food for farm animals for about 10,000 years. Grasses have also been used to make paper for more than 4000 years. People use bamboo to build houses, fences, furniture, flutes, and other things. Grass plants can also be used as fuel, to cover roofs, and to weave baskets.


In English, the word "grass" appears in several phrases. For example:

  • "The grass is always greener on the other side" means "people are never happy with what they have and want something else."
  • "Don't let the grass grow under your feet" means "Do something".
  • "A snake in the grass" is about a person that will be not be honest and will trick others.
  • Grass is sometimes used as a slang term for cannabis (also called pot, weed, or marijuana).

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