The official state grass of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming is western wheatgrass. It’s a prairie native, and I particularly like the statement from the North Dakota official state website NorthDakota.gov:
“tough native prairie grass, once covered nearly all of the state.”
Wow! It’s hard to believe, but that statement is probably fairly true. There are pockets of forest here and there in North Dakota, and, of course, there were certainly other species of grasses, but I’m guessing western wheatgrass was predominant, covering the Dakotas, and eastern Wyoming like a shag carpet for countless millennia.
Shag carpet has negative connotations these days, I presume, but I don’t mean it in a negative way at all. There is nothing more inspiring to me than a long view in the Dakotas, with buttes and hills rising in the unreachable horizon.
It’s bare earth, covered by a carpet, if you will, but there are no walls, no ceiling, and no straight lines to diminish the beauty – The Great Plains at its finest!