Can You Identify These Grasses from an Image?

SCIENCE

Bambi Turner

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons via Gentry George, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

About This Quiz

Lush green grass makes for a beautiful lawn, but there's no much more to grass than what you see in your backyard. For instance, did you know that diet staples like wheat, oats, rice, millet and even corn are part of the grass family? Another surprising grass is bamboo, which is used to make everything from furniture to flooring.

Yet as much time as you spend feeling the grass tickle your toes in your backyard or at your favorite park, using it to fuel your car after it's transformed into ethanol, eating it in the form of roasted corn or wheat bread, striding across a bamboo floor or using bamboo utensils, have you ever stopped to think about what these grasses look like, or how different they really look?

All grasses belong to the Poaceae family, which includes a whopping 12,000 different species. All of these plants share a few things in common -- namely hollow stems and narrow, alternating leaves, but they also have many key differences. Think you can tell one of these grasses from another using only a single image? Take our quiz to find out!

Choose the name of the grass you see in this picture.

Pampas grass is native to South America. It grows very tall, as much as 10 feet, and has leaves that range from silvery-green to blue-green.

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What type of grass is this?

Bahia is a tufted turf grass that grows well throughout the southeastern United States. Known for its rough texture and super durability, it's often planted in areas exposed to a lot of foot traffic, where other types of grass would likely fail.

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Can you name this grass?

Believe it or not, wheat is a type of grass. Cultivated for its seeds, the cereal grains produced by wheat are a staple of diets around the world. Wheat is not only one of the most widely-grown food crops, but also one of the most widely traded.

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What is this grass called?

Bluegrass gets its name from its alluring blue-green hue. Dense and lush, this grass grows well in cool, sunny areas, but has higher maintenance requirements than many other types of grass.

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Can you recall the common name of this grass?

Crabgrass is seen as a weed in many parts of the U.S., but actually offers a lot of surprise benefits. This grass, which can grow in poor drainage areas, contains seeds that can be ground into flour -- which is then used in cooking or beer production.

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Think you can identify this fast-growing grass?

Yes, the stalks of bamboo that giant pandas like to munch on are a type of grass. One of the fastest growing plants in the world, some bamboo species look more like trees than grass, and make up the largest members of the grass family.

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Know what this common lawn grass is called?

Fine fescue is a grass with very fine texture, and the individual blades are thin and needled. This grass can put up with drought and high temperatures, but doesn't grow well in shady spots.

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Can you name this grain?

The seed of oat grass is used as a cereal and livestock feed around the world. You can recognize this grass by its leaves, which are wider than many other grains, and tend to be smooth overall yet rough along the tip.

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Can you recall the common name of this grass?

Ryegrass -- not to be confused with the grain rye -- is an extremely fast-growing grass that grows best in cooler climates. It tends to be shinier than many other grasses, making it easy to identify.

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Any idea what this grass is called?

Sorghum grass thrives in the dog days of summer, and stands up strong in direct sunlight. This fast-growing grass is sometimes used to revive or restore compacted or damaged farmland.

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Select the correct name for this grass.

Fountaingrass is a perennial ornamental grass that grows in a rounded shape, like water spraying from a fountain. Though it can be invasive in some areas, some gardeners enjoy it for its colorful flowers, which range from white to pink or even red.

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Can you identify this grass from a single image?

Zoysia is found throughout the central U.S. and mid-Atlantic coast. It's a very slow-growing grass that forms a prickly lawn thanks to its stiff blades.

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Think you can identify this grass?

Bermuda grass is an aggressive-growing grass that can withstand drought, weeds and even heavy foot traffic. It is such a strong grower that it can invade flower beds and become a pest if not properly managed.

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Know what this grass is called?

Yes, if you look at maize from a botanist's point of view, this plant is actually a type of grass. It grows up to 10 feet high, providing us with ears of corn for food, livestock feed and ethanol production.

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What type of grass is this?

St. Augustine is a turf grass that grows well in warmer areas, particularly those with sandy soil. This grass has an attractive blue-green hue, similar to bluegrass.

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Choose the correct name for the grass shown in this image.

Centipede grass is a landscaping favorite because it's extremely easy to care for. Though it has a relatively rough texture, it's found in many lawns because it can handle almost any soil conditions, and is also resistant to many weeds and pests.

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Can you name this grain?

The seed of barley grass is a popular cereal grain. Not only is in consumed as a food staple on its own, but it's also used as animal feed and as part of the beer production process.

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Know the name of this food grain?

Not to be confused with ryegrass, rye us a cereal plant, similar to wheat. Because rye is tolerant of soil imperfections and temperature swings, it is often grown as a cover crop.

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Can you correctly identify this grass?

Chewings fescue is an aggressive-growing grass that sprouts up in tufts or bunches. It can handle cool temperatures and doesn't suffer in the shade, so it is often used to crowd out weeds.

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Know the name of this food grain?

Millet is a grass used as both a food grain and an ornamental plant. It thrives in semi-arid conditions, and some hybrid varieties are known for their vibrant purple hue.

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Remember the name of this grass?

Panicgrass is a genus of grasses that includes more than 450 species. Mostly found in tropical regions, these grasses can range from just a few feet to nearly 10 feet tall.

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What do you think this grass is called?

Scutch grass, also known as dog grass or wild rye, is an extremely fast-growing type of grass officially named elymus repens. It grows so quickly that it's often seen as a weed, and is considered an invasive species in some areas.

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What is the name of this grass, which is popular in Thai cuisine?

Lemongrass is a tropical herb that lends a flavor of citrus when used in cooking. It can grow up to 6 feet tall​ and may be used in the production of citronella oil.

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Name this grass.

Vetiver is a perennial grass that grows in bunches or tufts. Native to India, it's prized for its brownish-purple flowers, as well as for its ability to stabilize soil and reduce the impact of erosion.

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Can you correctly identify this grass?

Indian goosegrass is a close relative of the grain-producing grass millet. Found in warmer areas, it grows best when exposed to frequent sunshine, and is a popular option for lawns and golf courses.

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Choose the name of the grass you see in this picture.

Timothy grass, also known as the common cat's tail, is a perennial grass that grows up to 6 feet tall. It is a slow-grower and known for its ability to survive in cold temperatures, during drought, ​and in poor soil conditions.

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Name this grass.

Crowngrass is a genus that includes many different ornamental bunchgrasses. Found all over the U.S. and in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, crowngrass grows best in well-drained soil, but is remarkably drought tolerant.

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Select the correct name for this grass.

Creeping red fescue is a turf grass that is popular in cooler areas. It's easy to grow and survives shady conditions better than many other grasses. This plant is known for its fine blades and medium to deep green color.

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Pick the right name of this grass.

Bromus is a genus of more than 100 different species of ornamental grasses. Native to Eurasia, bromus can grow between 8 and 25 inches tall depending on the species and growing conditions.

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Choose the correct name for the grass shown in this image.

Common couch is a perennial grass native to Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. This fast-grower is essentially a weed, but its persistence makes it a popular choice for areas in need of erosion control or soil stabilization.

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What do you think this grass is called?

Napier grass, also known as elephant grass, is found primarily in Africa. It's a fast-grower and a popular feed crop. This grass can grow almost anywhere, regardless of soil conditions, and can tolerate a wild range of moisture levels and drought.

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What is this grass called?

Rice is a type of grass that belongs to the genus oryza. The grain of this grass accounts for around 20 percent of all calories consumed around the world. Rice is primarily grown in flooded fields, though it can actually be grown in a wide variety of conditions.

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Remember the name of this grass?

Needlegrass includes around 100 different species of bunchgrasses found throughout North and South America. Also known as feathergrass, this plant has very fine, sharp leaves.

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Know what this common lawn grass is called?

Tall fescue is so tough that it's often used on athletic fields and other areas subject to plenty of wear and tear. This grass requires a lot of maintenance to make it look good. Without plenty of attention, it can grow in uneven bunches and look like a weed.

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Can you identify this grass from a single image?

Cogon grass is native to Asia and Africa. Also known as bloodgrass or cotton woolgrass, it's used as an ornamental plant, and some cultures use it to make traditional thatched roofing.

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Any idea what this grass is called?

Bentgrass is popular with golf course landscapers throughout the northern U.S. While durable and attractive, it requires plenty of watering and care to keep pests and diseases at bay.

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Know what this grass is called?

Common reed grows best in wetlands. This large perennial grass includes four different species, which are typically found in temperate and tropical climate zones throughout the world.

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Think you can identify this grass?

Oryza is a genus that includes more than 300 grass species, including rice. It can range in height from 3 to 6 feet and is often associated with wetland areas.

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Can you name this grass?

Hard fescue, also known as sheep's fescue produces greyish-green prickly leaves. It is very dense, and has the ability to grow almost anywhere -- even in very acidic or contaminated soil.

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Pick the right name of this grass.

Phleum, which is also known as Timothy grass, is an extremely fast-growing species. Found in temperate regions, it has smooth, hairless leaves that range from pale green to grayish-green.

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