Grasses: Living Roofs for Native Pollinators Part III Webpage uri icon


  • Grasses and pollinators go together like summer and hot weather. However, one might not intuitively think that grasses attract pollinators because most grasses lack the bold floral display of wildflowers. Although all grasses flower, many native grasses have small flowers that look like seeds, and many are quite beautiful. Grasses are pollinated through wind dispersion, yet many insects feed on grass pollen and make use of grasses for other needs. For example, male and female fireflies are grass-loving pollinating beetles that like to hang out in meadows, edges of woodlands, and grassy habitats near water (Kalra and Arora 2016). Fireflies play an important role in reducing predator species, however, due to the destruction and degradation of their habitats, firefly populations have been in a slow decline. Fortuitously, fireflies have been observed on rooftop meadows in North America and Europe (MacIvor Lundholm 2011). Additionally, at least 70 species of butterflies and moths make use of some of the 1275 taxa of grasses native to North America to complete their life cycle at different stages of their development (Damude 1995). Thus, grass-based green roofs could play a crucial role in making habitat for pollinators in urban regions, especially where grassland habitat fragmentation has already occurred (Brckmann, Krauss et al. 2010).

author list (cited authors)

  • Dvorak, B.

complete list of authors

  • Dvorak, Bruce

publication date

  • June 2022