Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Koeleria macrantha (Prairie junegrass)
Bolin, Kathryn E.

Koeleria macrantha

Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Schult.

Prairie Junegrass, Junegrass, Prairie Koeler's Grass

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Koeleria albescens, Koeleria cristata, Koeleria cristata var. longifolia, Koeleria cristata var. pinetorum, Koeleria gracilis, Koeleria nitida, Koeleria pyramidata, Koeleria yukonensis


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), HI (I), CAN (N)

This 1-3+ ft., perennial bunchgrass bears dense, silvery green, spike-like seedheads which start growth very early in spring and turn tan by mid-summer. The leaves of June grass are gray-green.

Prairie Koeler's Grass is a cool-season grass, dormant in late summer. On the Pacific coast there is a rather large, loosely tufted form with a more open seed head.


From the Image Gallery

6 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , DE , HI , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , SD , TX , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NL , ON , SK
Native Distribution: Ont. to B.C., s. to PA, OH, LA & Mex.; introduced in the Northeast
Native Habitat: Dry, sandy prairies; open woods; rocky slopes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy or rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Because June grass is a cool-season grass, companion plants should be chosen to mask its late-summer dormancy. On the Pacific coast there is a rather large, loosely tufted form with a more open seed head.


Attracts: Birds

Value to Beneficial Insects

Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate by seed sown unstratified in fall or statified in spring. Sow 1/4" deep. Seed germinated best when weather is cool. Seedlings are almost invisible when first emerging. 1- to 3-year old plants may be divided in early spring.
Seed Collection: Collect in Sep. and Oct.
Seed Treatment: Dry stratification is beneficial.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Groundcover for erosion control
September 23, 2008
I live in southern california. What is the best groundcover to plant on a slope to prevent erosion?
view the full question and answer

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

North American Native Plant Society - Etobicoke, ON
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Koeleria macrantha in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Koeleria macrantha in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Koeleria macrantha


Record Modified: 2023-01-25
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back