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Piptochaetium avenaceum (Blackseed speargrass)
Leander, Bruce

Piptochaetium avenaceum

Piptochaetium avenaceum (L.) Parodi

Blackseed Speargrass

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Stipa avenacea


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Perennial grass that grows to three feet in height with slender leaves. Distinctive twisted, hair-like, two to three inch long awns. The inflorescence branches are very thin creating the effect of spikelets that appear to be floating in mid air.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 40 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Canada: ON
Native Habitat: Dry woods, rocky slopes, outcrops, and clearings.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1012 Collected 2007-04-12 in Montgomery County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Piptochaetium avenaceum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Piptochaetium avenaceum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Piptochaetium avenaceum


Record Modified: 2022-09-28
Research By: DEW

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