|Field Trip - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore - 2 of 12
By Paul Katula, Dateline: GARY, Ind. (May 27, 2006)
Marram grass underground stems build the dune:
One of the first pioneer species to become established in a new sand dune is marram grass. It has specialized stems, called rhizomes, which form a tangled web beneath the sand, spreading about 20 feet in all directions. At least a dozen internodes develop on these stems each year, and they are longest in years where sand piles up fast. Their dense network holds the sand on the mound in place.