Native Grasses and Forbs

Naylor Seed Company distributes a full line of Native Grass and Forb Mixes, including: CP25, CP23, Mid Contract Management mixes, Iowa Eco Type mixes, and many single species of grasses and forbs. Native grasses have the majority of their growth after mid June, providing good grazing in July and August, and they are used in pasture, crop protection programs and wildlife cover. They also  are slow to establish so weed control during establishment is crucial. We do not recommend grazing lower than 6-8 inches. Planting rate per acre: Alone 6-8 lbs PLS. Planting depth: ¼”. Seed is sold on a “pure live seed” basis.

Big Bluestem

  • The king of the native grasses; it will grow 3 to 9 feet tall and has roots 12 to 13 feet deep
  • Substantial drought tolerance
  • Adapts to a wide range of soils but does best on fertile well drained soils
  • Livestock prefer it to other grasses; will tolerate 1-2 lbs of atrazine

Canada Wild Rye

  • Cool-season, native grass that prefers moist sites
  • A perennial bunch grass with very good seedling vigor and early spring growth, which makes it easy to establish and cover ground rapidly
  • Has some shade tolerance and will grow in sandy soil
  • Seed head is a nodding spike that matures in July
  • Leaf blades are flat with a rough upper surface and finely toothed margins
  • Makes a good companion in a prairie mixture
  • Has ornamental value, and the dried seed heads look great in flower arrangements
  • Grows 3 to 4 feet tall

Cave In Rock Switchgrass

  • A perennial, sod-forming grass that reproduces from underground stems as well as from seeds
  • Grows 3 to 6 feet tall; best in lower areas but is drought tolerant and will grow in wide ranges of conditions
  • Is late in maturity and is well adapted to Iowa conditions because of its rust resistance
  • Is tolerant to atrazine and is often used in waterways
  • Is relatively small, slick and shiny and easy to sow

Dakota Switchgrass

  • A shorter growing variety that will grow 3 to 4 feet tall
  • Is well adapted to lower areas but is also drought tolerant and can grow in a wide range of conditions
  • Switchgrasses are perennial, sod-forming grasses that reproduce from underground stems as well as from seeds
  • Is often used in waterways and crop protection programs


  • Is the second most important native grass next to Big Bluestem
  • Spreads by seeds as well as underground stems
  • Seedlings are very drought tolerant
  • Grows quickly to 4 to 8 feet in height
  • Responds to nitrogen fertilizer; is very nutritious and palatable

Little Bluestem

  • A native bunch grass that spreads by seed and underground tillers
  • Grows 3 to 5 feet tall with roots 5 to 8 feet deep
  • Has finer leaves than Big Bluestem and is more drought tolerant
  • Widely distributed throughout the USA
  • Thrives on a variety of soils but produces best on medium and dry soils

Side Oats Grama

  • Derives its name from the oats-like seed on one side of the stem
  • Does well on dry soils but adapts to a wide range of soils
  • Grows 1 to 3 feet tall
  • Will not compete with tall grasses but will combine with Little Bluestem
  • Good seedling vigor and easy to establish; good to plant between trees in orchards
  • Is useful for erosion control on steep banks and slopes
  • Produces highly palatable nutritious forage; responds to nitrogen fertilizer