Tiller Structure

Once a grass is established, several new structures can be identified. The basic overall structure of a grass is a tiller. It constitutes a single shoot and its accompanying leaves, stem, and inflorescence. In Exhibit 3, you will notice that this young tiller has leaves, stems and roots. Tillers may be in one of four characteristic stages: 1) vegetative, 2) elongation, 3) reproductive, or 4) seed production. Each of these will be described in detail, starting with vegetative.

Exhibit 3. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) seedling demonstrating tiller structure and adventitious root development. Photo credit: John Guretzky, University of Nebraska-Lincoln