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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Hesperostipa spartea (Trin.) Barkworth
Porcupinegrass, Porcupine grass
Synonyms: Stipa spartea
USDA Symbol: HESP11
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
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 USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or sandy soils.
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
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Record Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff