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Nassella

Needle Grass
Poaceae (Gramineae)
Ornamental grasses and grasslike plants

These needle grasses were once included in Stipa. All are clump formers characterized by long awns—needlelike or threadlike appendages that give a feathery look to the inflorescence. These California natives look much alike; all are useful for revegetation of wild areas, for stabilizing soil, and for restoring natural meadows. They can be started from seed. Clear the area of weeds and other grasses first; Nassella species can self-sow once established, but initially they cannot compete with other vegetation.

All these needle grasses are cool-season growers that go dormant during hot, dry summers, reviving with cooler autumn weather and rains.

Nassella pulchra

The classic native California bunch grass, growing to about 3 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide. Blooms in late winter and early spring, with ears producing 4-in. awns (bristles) that age to silver.

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