Perennial grasses produce flowers that reproduce by pollen that is used to fertilize a female plant by insects, animals, or the wind. Perennial grasses can also clone themselves by forming a net of connected plants that sprout from the rhizome. Few perennial grasses and plants spread seeds.
Annual plants produce seeds in large quantities. These seeds lie dormant on the soil until they find a favorable time to sprout. Seeds are dispersed through insects, animals, birds, and the wind. Annual plants also grow flowers that reproduce with pollen.
Some common plants found in temperate grasslands are the pasque flower, prickly pear cacti, showy golden rod, turkscap lily, prairie blazing star, sunflower, butterfly weed, spiderwort, horsemint, purple coneflower, little rattlepod, silky aster, evening primrose, compass plant, forbs, sedges, rushes, shrubs, Mesquite bush, and creosote bush. Although these plants live in the grasslands, they are outnumbered by the dominant grass by far.
Steppe and prairie grasslands do not have many trees because it is too dry for most trees to survive. Young tree seedlings are also trampled and eaten by grazing animals before they mature. Trees that do grow in temperate grasslands stay near rivers and streams. These trees may include cottonwood, ash, and box elder.