Why is Kentucky called the Bluegrass State?

Kentucky bluegrass (WDRB file photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --It's the state we work, play, and live in. Most people know Kentucky is called the Bluegrass state, but when you ask them why, often you won't get very far.

Sometimes there are guesses that are out there.

"Because of the race track?" one person asked.

"Do we have a city named Bluegrass somewhere?" asked another.

Sometimes people think it has to do with the type of music made famous here. But in reality, it's a lot more simple than all of that.

We have to go back in the day when the settlers were coming to Kentucky to get the full answer. A time when prairies and pastures with Bluegrass in them were tall and going to seed.

"When those are blooming and have seed heads on them, they have a blue cast to them," Churchill Downs Director of Horticulture, Matt Bizzell said.

You're probably saying okay fine, but I've still never seen Bluegrass.

"Around here, a lot of people use it. It's really pretty in the spring and the fall," Bizzell explained.

It's on horse farms, and in some stadiums, golf courses, and yards.

Still feel like you haven't seen it? You might not know what you're looking at.

"Most of the time you see Bluegrass around here, it's cut short, and so it just looks green. It looks like regular grass," said Bizzell.

Bluegrass is actually part of Mike Bramer and his family's livelihood.

"There's a big market for it," he said.

A team of employees works through a lot of the year on Bramer's sod farm, insuring they'll get high dollar for the grass they care for.

When you look at acre after beautiful acre of Bramer's Bluegrass, you might say to yourself, "this is the perfect place for this to grow." Actually, horticulture experts say the Bluegrass state is not always the best place for Bluegrass to grow.

"A lot of quality comes from up north," said Bramer.

He means states like Oregon, Michigan, and even Indiana. No matter where it's grown best, there will always be a spot for Bluegrass in the market here and in our hearts. It's what our state was built on.

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