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Green needlegrass

Feather bunchgrass

Gramineae Stipa viridula Trin.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

This native bunchgrass is most abundant on the upland prairie and ranges of the Northern Plains. It frequently invades abandoned cropland. It grows on most soil types but thrives best on sandy soils. It grows up to 3 feet. Leaves are mostly basal, up to 12 inches long and 0.5 inch wide. Seed spikes have bent awns about an inch long but are less troublesome to livestock than those of Needle-and-thread grass. Growth starts early in the spring and continues through summer when moisture is available. The grass is palatable and nutritious and makes excellent hay. It also cures well on the ground so is useful for winter grazing. It is useful for revegetation as seedlings are vigorous and drought resistant. Seed of some improved varieties is available.


Last update February 18, 1999 by ch