Content Detail

June grass is a native grass that can be very useful in tough sites like areas with dry conditions. It is a cool season, clumping grass. This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.  

  • Family (English) Grass
  • Family (botanic) Poaceae
  • Tree or plant type Grass, Perennial
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Dry soil, Sandy soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest mid spring, late spring, early summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Other
  • Shape or form Upright

Size and Form:

June grass is an upright grass growing 1 to 2 feet tall. It is a clumping grass.

Native geographic location and habitat:

C-Value: 7. Native to most of the United States and Canada.

Leaf description:

The narrow leaves grow primarily from the base of the plant, forming an upright tuft. The leaves are blue-green and grow up to a foot long.

Flower description:

Flowering time is late spring into very early summer. The tiny, silvery-green flowers are held in spikes well above the foliage.

Fruit description:

The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) form along the spike that held the flowers. The fruit ripens and begins to shatter in mid-summer.

Plant care:

Best grown in full sun with well drained soils. This grass is very tolerant of dry, infertile soil. This is a cool season grass, so its most active growth occurs in spring. In warm climates, the plant will go dormant in summer and resume growth in the cooler temperatures of autumn. In cooler climates, it will continue to grow into autumn. Since this grass remains semi-evergreen through winter, it should not be cut back until early spring, before new growth begins. At that time, it can be cut down to the ground if needed or simply trimmed to remove winter damage.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

No serious pests


Your support is vital to the Arboretum, where the power of trees makes a positive impact on people’s lives.

Make a gift