Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Deschampsia cespitosa

Tufted hairgrass, Tufted hair grass

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Deschampsia cespitosa (Tufted hairgrass)
Makin, Julie
The basal foliage clump of this cool-season, perennial grass is mostly evergreen with very fine-textured flower stalks rising 2-3 ft. The loose, open panicle is purplish-green to tawny at first but bleaches and remains effective in the landscape until late fall. Flowers have hair-like awns, thus the common name.

Image Gallery:

2 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , ID , IL , IN , KY , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MT , NV , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OR , PA , RI , SD , UT , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , WY
Canada: BC , NB , NS , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Transcontinental Canada, s. to NC, WV, Great Lakes, ND, mts. of NM, AZ & CA
Native Habitat: Moist, high elevation sites; sandy or rocky shores; bogs & fens

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist to wet (rarely on drier) soils.


Use Wildlife: Dominant grass in mountain meadows, where it furnishes excellent forage.
Use Food: Seeds of Deschampsia species eaten by indigenous Californians.
Attracts: Birds

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Deschampsia cespitosa is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Umber Skipper
(Poanes melane)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2012-10-03