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Nassella tenuissima

Nassella tenuissima (Trin.) Barkworth

Stipa tenuissima Trin.

Mexican Feather Grass, Finestem Needlegrass

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassCommelinidaeDayflowers and spiderworts, and several others
OrderCyperalesFlowering plants including grasses
FamilyPoaceaeGrasses (but not sedges or rushes)
GenusNassellaDiminutive of the Latin nassa, “a basket with a narrow neck, a fish basket”
SpeciestenuissimaVery slender

About plant names...

Mexican feathergrass is native to Texas, New Mexico, Mexico, and Argentina. Increasingly popular as an ornamental grass, it is potentially invasive in some areas.

Identification: This grass forms clumps 12-24" (30-60 cm) high and about 12" (30 cm) around. Feathery green flower clusters 6-12" (15-30 cm) tall mature to silvery tan in color. The individual flowers each have a long, thin awn 2-3" (5-7.6 cm) in length. Grass blades are 6-14" (15-35 cm) long, almost tubular, tightly rolled, making the blades appear very fine, only half a millimeter in diameter.

Online References:

Nassella tenuissima on FLORIDATA

Nassella tenuissima at HEAR: the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project

Nassella tenuissima at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Nassella tenuissima on Weed Watch, the Los Angelas Region Council for Watershed Health Invasive Plant Monitoring and Outreach Program

Nassella tenuissima at George and Audrey DeLange's Arizona wildflower site

Nassella tenuissima (Mexican Feather Grass, Finestem Needlegrass)

The tan-colored panicles of flowers are several inches long. · 8/1/2009 · Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME
≈ 23 × 15" (58 × 38 cm)

Nassella tenuissima description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Nassella tenuissima (Mexican Feather Grass, Finestem Needlegrass)

8/1/2009 · Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME
≈ 3 × 2' (95 × 63 cm)

Nassella tenuissima (Mexican Feather Grass, Finestem Needlegrass)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA

Range: Zones 7-11:

About this map...