This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
In studying meadow and pasture vegetation one outstanding feature will soon make itself apparent, namely, the prevalence of what may be best described as the grass habit of the vast majority of the plants that make it up.
An examination of a field will show that the bulk of the plants are Grasses. This will be found out by making a careful survey field by field on lines suggested later. The dominance of the Grasses and the usefulness of the cereals from prehistoric times is one outstanding feature of civilization.
The grass habit has succeeded, along with the tree habit and shrub habit, over and above all other types put together, and the various reasons for this, and its bearing upon plant life and distribution, will afford a great deal of instructive inquiry. The grass habit, in a few words, has been acquired because it enables the greatest number of individuals to survive in the struggle for existence in the least possible space, and at the same time by its peculiar adaptiveness to wide open spaces to occupy by far the greatest area proportionally of the earth's surface successfully.
Attention should be directed to the existence of plants in the meadows with other habits, such as the rosette habit of many Composites, as the Dandelion, etc, the pyramidal habit of others, as Meadow Crane's Bill (inversely pyramidal), and other types.