Plant Image
Plant - summer
Rimrock Verde Valley
John Kava
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Hesperostipa neomexicana - New Mexico feathergrass

Synonyms: Stipa neomexicana

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Plant image
Plant - summer

Rimrock Verde Valley John Kava
Plant image

Rimrock Verde Valley John Kava
Plant image

Rimrock Verde Valley John Kava
Plant image

Rimrock Verde Valley John Kava
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Cool
Habitat Description: Dry, sandy or rocky slopes, grassland and pinyon pine associations.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 3500 - 7000 feet

Similar Species: Hesperostipa comata

General Description

Desc: Tufted bunchgrass; blades tightly inrolled, very narrow, old leaves often intertwined with new growth; seedheads very erect.
Identification notes: Tufted perennial, narrow involute blades. Sheaths smooth or slightly hairy. Seeedhead contracted; spikelets 1-flowered, disarticulate above the glumes; awns 2 to 3 inches long, twist at maturity, terminal segment with feathery hairs.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 24 to 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Apr - Jun

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: One-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Greater than 1 inch   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead 1 to 4 inches long, often partly included in the sheath. Glumes about equal, remain on seedhead stem. Lower end of floret hardened (callused), hairy and pointed. Lemma hairy and awned from their tips, terminal segment of awns with feathery hairs.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Involute  
Blade Notes: Blades 4 to 12 inches long, 1/16 to 1/8 inch wide, usually tightly inrolled.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Lower sheaths smooth without hairs or clothed with soft hairs or down, not fringed with hairs on the margin. Ligules of lower leaves <1/32 inch, thickly membranous, rounded; ligules of upper leaves to 1/8 inch, thin, dry, membranous, pointed.

Forage Value: Fair to good when seedheads are absent. Extensively utilized by wildlife in spring. Cures well to provide fall and winter forage for livestock.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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