California grasslands are found throughout the Central Valley, interior valleys of the Coast Ranges and on terraces along the California coastline. There is much debate about the original vegetative composition of California grasslands. Overgrazing by livestock brought by Spanish colonists, the introduction of annual exotic grasses adapted to our Mediterranean climate, droughts and a change in wildfire frequency drastically altered the original composition of California grasslands. Historically, California grasslands most likely consisted of perennial bunchgrasses such as purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra), the state grass of California, mixed with annual and perennial wildflowers (or forbs). Today, more than 99% of native California grasslands have been converted to development, agriculture, and a mix of non-native annual grasses and forbs; the latter is one of the most dramatic invasions by exotic plants in world history! Only remnant patches of native grasslands remain today. They provide insight into the original composition of California grasslands, create spectacular wildflower displays in the springtime and sustain rare species.