Page author: Don Knoke
Hesperostipa comata

Distribution: British Columbia south on the east side of the Cascades to California, east to Ontario and Texas.

Habitat: Plains and prairies to forested areas in the mountains.

Flowers: May - July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Tufted perennial, the culms up to 7 dm. tall, puberulent to glabrous.


Sheaths open; ligules membranous, 3-5 mm. long, rounded to acute, split or lacerate; blades 1-2 mm. broad, involute.


Inflorescence a contracted panicle 7-20 cm. long; spikelets 1-flowered; glumes membranous, narrow, tapered to very slender tips, 15-25 mm. long, 5-nerved; floret pale green to yellow; lemmas 8-12 mm. long, convolute, sparsely pubescent, the callus 3-4 mm. long, prolonged into an awn up to 15 cm. long, slender, twisted, and bent more than once; palea shorter than the lemma and enclosed by it; stamens 3.

Accepted Name:
Hesperostipa comata (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Stipa comata Trin. & Rupr. [HC]
ssp. comata – needle and thread
ssp. intermedia – Tweedy's needlegrass
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Hesperostipa comata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Hesperostipa comata checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Hesperostipa comata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Hesperostipa comata photos.

USDA Plants: Hesperostipa comata information.

29 photographs:
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