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Needlegrasses

Stipas

Gramineae, Poaceae Stipa sp.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

Some 30 species of Stipa are indigenous to the Western States. They are long-lived bunchgrasses. Each spikelet has a single flower which terminates in a prominent awn, accounting for the name needlegresses. These grasses are abundant, widely distributed, cure well on the ground, and rank high for forage. The needle-like awns, however, cause injury to animals, especially sheep, and greatly detract from their otherwise value. The two most valuable species are Needle-and-thread grass and Green needlegrass.


Last update February 18, 1999 by ch