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Grass Family (Poacae). Nodding needlegrass is a native, long-lived, cool season tufted perennial bunchgrass. It is very similar to Nassella pulchra (purple needlegrass), but is generally smaller, with finer leaf blades, and the terminal segment of the awn flexuous. It also produces more flower spikes. The basal leaf blades are numerous, narrow, and glaucus.