Hesperostipa spartea (Trin.) Barkworth
Porcupinegrass, Porcupine grass
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Stipa spartea
USDA Symbol: HESP11
Upright to arching clumps of stout stems rise 2-4 ft. The seeds, occuring in long, slender, nodding seedheads, have a pointed, twisted awn, 4-8 long. The entire plant cures silvery white in fall.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
DistributionUSA: CO , IA , IL , IN , KS , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NM , OH , OK , PA , SD , WI , WY
Native Distribution: Ont. to B.C., s. to OH, MO, NM & MT
Native Habitat: Dry prairies & open woodlands
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or sandy soils.
Value to Beneficial InsectsProvides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Unlike seeds of most other grasses, porcupine grass seeds germinate best when planted deep (3/4). Seeds have a way of sowing themselves naturally by means of a twisted awn that screws the seed into the ground. Sow seeds in spring. They prefer cool wea
Seed Collection: Collect in late Jun. to Jul.
Seed Treatment: Moist stratification may increase germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
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Recommended Species Lists
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Hesperostipa spartea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hesperostipa spartea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hesperostipa spartea
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff