Is Grass a Leaf? Settle the Debate Once and for All

There is a lot of debate on whether Grass is a leaf, and what the difference is between them. However, there tends to be some confusion. This debate isn’t saying that Grass is only a leaf, but it is saying that the parts of Grass that we most often see are leaves. 

The blades of grass, which we mow and focus on for the health of lawn Grass, that is the leaf, though the other parts like stems, roots, and rhizomes are also present, but much harder to see. 

Now that you know that Grass blades are leaves, you may be confused about why they look so different from the leaves of other plants, and where the other parts of the Grass are. Thankfully, once you understand the basic structure of a plant, it is easy enough to understand how Grass plants work, and how the blades are actually leaves. 

What Is Grass?

Grass is just another type of plant. There are many plants that are considered to be Grass including cereals, grains, and bamboo. However, the most common types are used to create a nice lawn or field in a park. 

To be considered Grass, a plant must be an herbaceous plant, which means it has very little to no wood. Instead of firm wood stems, you have soft, supple, and green stems. Grass is also considered to be a monocotyledon. This means that it is a flowering plant that only has one cotyledon to store seeds. The flowers of monocotyledons are usually arranged in parts or multiples of threes. 

Grass falls under the family Poaceae, also known as Gramineae. In addition to Grass, sedges and rushes are also included in this family.

Grass is used for a variety of different purposes and is very important for all animals, including people. They can be used for food, drinks like beer and whiskey, food for livestock, paper, clothing, thatching, turf, basket weaving, and much more. 

Grass can be short or tall and handle many different living situations, such as hot and dry or cold and humid conditions, depending on the species of Grass. 

Is Grass Made of Leaves?

Grass is not made up of just leaves. However, like most plants, Grass does have leaves. The leaves of Grass are narrow. 

While Grass is not made of leaves, it is understandable how one jumps to that conclusion. The blades of Grass we often see and mow down to maintain a certain height are the leaves of the Grass. Leaves are generally where plants get most of their energy from, as they can absorb and convert energy from the sun, so it makes sense that the Grass blades are the leaves. 

Additionally, the other parts of Grass are hidden under the ground, or they are small and hard to see. This means that it is pretty much only the blades we see. This is why it is easy to assume that Grass is made from leaves. 

Does Grass Have a Stem?

Grasses do have stems. In Grass, the stem is known as the culm. These culms are often hollow and rounded in shape. The Grass blades, or the leaves of the Grass, meet the culms at attachment points known as nodes. 

These stems are very short and may run horizontally on the ground. They can be very difficult to see, but they are present and are how the leaves of grass connect to the rest of the plant. 

It can be hard to describe how the rest of the plant works. This is because there are many different Grasses that all have slightly different appearances. For example, bamboo and lawn Grass look nothing alike, but they are actually both Grasses and are closely related. They also grow in similar ways, though the parts don’t always look the same. 

Is Grass an Herb or Not?

Grass does technically get placed under the category of herbs. An herb is defined as a vascular plant that lacks woody stems and produces seeds. However, herbs are used to categorize plants botanically this way, and foods that are used to season meals. 

For this reason, the word used to describe plants that fit under the herb category but aren’t herbs you often see in cooking, botanists often refer to as “herbaceous plants” instead. 

What Is a Leaf?

There are many components of a plant, and their names and purpose can be confusing. With some plants, it is easy to differentiate what is a leaf, what is a stem, and what is a node, but with some plants like Grasses, it can be a little more confusing. 

So let’s start by describing what exactly a leaf is. A leaf is described as a thin and flattened structure of a plant that can look like a blade. The primary purpose of leaves is to make food through photosynthesis from the sun. This is where plants get a majority of their energy and food, and they are very important parts of the plant.

What Are the Five Parts of a Typical Grass Leaf?

There are five parts of a Grass leaf, and many other leaves as well. The main parts of the leaf are the blade, the sheath, and the ligule. The more minor parts are the collar and the auricle. 


grass close-up
The blade is the main part of the leaf you are used to seeing. Though it is called a blade, it can look like a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be flat, V-shaped, rolled, thin and thready, or boat-shaped. No matter the shape, they do still count as blades. 


The sheath surrounds the stem at the node. It is usually split on one side to separate the sheath from the stem. Sheaths come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and are key in determining different species of Grass from one another.


The ligule is at the meeting point of the sheath and the blade. Its purpose is to prevent water and dirt from getting into the space between them. They may often look like thin paper or small, hairy fibers. 

Collar & Auricle

A collar is found in the same place as a ligule but on the outside of the sheath and the blade. Auricles aren’t always present. They are at the base of the blade and are often on either side of the blade. They may look like earlobes. 

Do All Plants Have Leaves?

Almost every plant has leaves in some form, even if they look strange. However, not every plant has leaves. Usually, fungus, moss, and algae lack leaves. This is because they can photosynthesize in other ways. 

But most of the plants you traditionally consider to be plants, like trees, Grasses, flowers, and even succulents all have leaves in some form.

What Part of Grass Is the Leaf?

The part of the Grass that is the leaf is the part of Grass we see the most. These are the blades of Grass. Since leaves are what are used to gain energy and food from photosynthesizing, it makes sense that the part of the Grass that gets the most sun is the leaf. 

The main reason the leaves of Grass look so weird is that, unlike many other plants, the blades are the primary growing part of the plant. The stems are small and hard to see, the flowers are small if there are even any, and the roots are hidden underground or under a thick mat of leaves. 


The category of Grasses contain bamboo, wheat, and traditional lawn grasses, and they look different, but they work in similar ways. 

The blades of grass, which we mow and focus on for the health of lawn Grass, that is the leaf, though the other parts like stems, roots, and rhizomes are also present, but much harder to see. 

Leaves are the main part of the Grass and are broken up into five parts. Though they may not look like traditional leaves, they grow from similar areas on the stem and have the same purpose as other leaves do.