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Nassella leucotricha (Texas wintergrass)
Romfh, Peggy

Nassella leucotricha

Nassella leucotricha (Trin. & Rupr.) Pohl

Texas Wintergrass, Texas Speargrass, Wintergrass

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Stipa leucotricha

USDA Symbol: nale3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Plant: Tufted Inflorescense: Loose panicle 6-25 cm. long with long, slender lower branches. Blades: 10-30 cm. long and 1-4 mm. broad, pubescent with short, stiff hairs on one or both surfaces. Culms: 30-120 cm. tall, often geniculate-spreading at base.


From the Image Gallery

18 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 Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Inflorescence: Panicle
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AR , LA , OK , SC , TX
Native Distribution: North and central Texas, north to Oklahoma, south to northern Mexico.
Native Habitat: Prairies, brushy areas, roadsides and disturbed areas.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Calcareous, sandy, clayey. Thrives on disturbed soils.
Conditions Comments: Open grassland sites, prairies, roadsides. Not shade tolerant.


Use Wildlife: Good for early spring forage.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval food for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.
Deer Resistant: High

Find Seed or Plants

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0300 Collected Apr 26, 1987 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0707 Collected Apr 1, 1994 in Bexar County by Mike Fox

2 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-0012 Collected 2006-05-05 in Travis 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 Nassella leucotricha in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Nassella leucotricha in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Nassella leucotricha


Record Modified: 2023-01-25
Research By: TWC Staff

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