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Achnatherum speciosum (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth
Desert needlegrass, Desert rice grass, Spear grass
Synonyms: Stipa speciosa, Jarava speciosa
USDA Symbol: ACSP12
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Desert rice grass or spear grass is a 1-2 ft., cool-season bunchgrass with an attractive, plumy appearance. The dense seedheads bear spikelets with a distinctive bent or twisted awn extending far beyond the grain.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
AZ , CA , CO , NV , OR , UT Native Distribution:
CO & AZ to s. CA; also Mex. Native Habitat:
Plains; deserts; canyons; rocky hills; 2000-6000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Rocky or sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Good for dry banks and paths. Very drought tolerant.
BenefitUse Food: Seeds gathered and consumed by Mono Lake Paiute people.
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval food for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.
PropagationDescription: Sow seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
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Record Modified: 2008-10-18
Research By: TWC Staff