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Fastest-Germinating Native Grass

Native grasses are an interesting alternative to flowering landscape plants. They are easy to maintain and conserve water in areas where water usage is a problem. They also provide lush growth while resisting weed intrusion. Choose a native grass that grows well in your region. A number of these native grasses are fast-germinating and provide quick cover for large areas of your property.
  1. Canada Wild Rye

    • Canada wild rye, Elymus canadensis, is a short-lived perennial grass that can grow to 4 feet tall, with spiky seed heads and long awns that cause the plant to droop. It is a cool-season grass that requires little or no maintenance, blooming in July and August and displaying its heavy seed heads in early fall. Canada wild rye germinates and grows quickly in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 9, according to Prairie Nursery.

    Virginia Wild Rye

    • Virginia wild rye, Elymus virginicus, is a fast-growing grass often used to stabilize wooded ravines and hillsides. It grows to 5 feet high with a terminal seed head that displays in July or August. Plant Virginia wild rye along streams and in flooplains for its ability to thrive in heavy moisture. It is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 9.

    Prairie Cordgrass

    • Prairie cordgrass, Spartina pectinata, is hardy in zones 3 to 8. It spreads quickly through rhizomes and is tolerant of moist conditions, making it a good choice for stabilizing stream banks and wetland areas. It can grow to 8 feet tall, with arching green foliage that turns gold in fall.

    California Brome

    • California brome, Bromus carinaturs, is a fast-growing, cool-season native grass found in the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Coast areas. It is good for quick cover, according to the Hastings Natural History Reservation. It has broad, green leaves and distinctively flattened seed heads. It grows in a bunch to about knee-high. It is a short-lived plant, however, that only grows for a few years.

    American Beach Grass

    • American beach grass, Ammophila breviligulata, is a native grass used to stabilize dune areas. It has narrow, grass-like leaves and seed heads carried on spikes. It spreads quickly through rhizomes, growing roots in dense mats up to 20 feet deep that help to prevent dune erosion. It grows to 3 feet tall and bears a yellow, white or green flower from July to September. It thrives in the dry, sandy soil of beach areas in zones 5 to 10.