based on the tribe Poeae described in 1814 by Robert Brown, and the type genus Poa described in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
The term is derived from the Ancient Greek πόα (póa, “fodder”).
Grasses include some of the most versatile plant life-forms.
They became widespread toward the end of the Cretaceous period, and fossilized dinosaur dung (coprolites) have been found containing phytoliths of a variety that include grasses that are related to modern rice and bamboo.
The leaf blades of many grasses are hardened with silica phytoliths, which discourage grazing animals; some, such as sword grass, are sharp enough to cut human skin.