Achnatherum speciosum (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth
Desert needlegrass, Desert rice grass, Spear grass
Poaceae (Grass Family)
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.
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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.
Last Update: 2008-10-18