Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands
New Mexico feathergrass
(a.k.a. Stipa neomexicana)
New Mexico feathergrass is a cool-season, perennial, bunch grass. This tufted needle grass has a long feathery awn on the seed, which distinguishes it from needle-and-thread. Most common on sandy, gravelly, and rocky sites, it occurs at elevations from 3,100 to 7,200 feet.
New Mexican feathergrass provides moderate to good forage for all livestock. The sharp-pointed seeds, like needle-and-thread seeds, may injure the mouths of animals. The grass tends to decrease under grazing, especially on drier ranges. This grass withstands heavy use in the spring and fall and usually reproduces well if the plants are allowed to mature seed during summer.
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