Stipa pulchra, Purple Needlegrass

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Stipa pulchra

Purple needlegrass is the state grass of California, found in many places throughout the state, one of the major species of California grasslands. It greens up early in the season. The leaf blades form a clump under 2' tall, and the graceful flowering stalks rise up from the center between two and three feet tall. It is highly ornamental in flower and seed, after which time it should be cut, mowed, or grazed. 

It is valuable as erosion control and forage, and needs protection from grazing during flowering period. Greens up early in season and can handle many different kinds of soil and exposure. It is often found on the south side of mountains or hills, while on the north side, more shade-loving species like California fescue, Festuca californica, grow. Particularly beautiful when blowing in late spring winds.

It is the larval food plant for the California ringlet butterfly.

Seeding rate: 6-8 lbs/acre. There are approximately 80,250 live seeds per pound.