Both native and non-native grasslands occur within the city.
Native grassland is characterized by perennial bunch grasses such as needlegrass and herbaceous annuals and perennials such as Cleveland's shooting star, blue-eyed grass, fascicled tarweed, sanicles, and mariposa lily. This habitat type is often associated with clay soils and frequently occurs as open patches within coastal sage scrub. Native grassland is considered a sensitive habitat due to its limited distribution in California, potential to support sensitive species, use as raptor foraging habitat, and continuing decline as a result of development and agricultural practices. In Carlsbad, native grassland is extremely limited. Existing patches are too small to be mapped at the scale used for the HMP vegetation database.
Non-native grassland is characterized by non-native grasses such as wild oats, bromes, and others. Other species present in this habitat type include invasive natives such as telegraph weed, fascicled tarweed, doveweed, and invasive non-native species such as Russian-thistle, black mustard, and tocalote.