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General: Thurber’s needlegrass is a native, cool-season grass common to the semiarid regions of the Intermountain West. It is a perennial bunchgrass, 1- 2 feet tall with fine, narrow in rolled leaves about 6-10 inches long. The inflorescence is 3- 4 inches long, narrow and somewhat purplish in color. The seed is about ¼- inch long, sharp pointed with a twice bent, 2- inch long awn. Tiny hairs cover the seed and lower segments of the awn.

Intermountain Flora - drawn by Jeanne R. Janish.

University of Washington Press.

Distribution: This grass is found in the semiarid Intermountain West from southern Idaho to Washington Columbia Basin and south to eastern California and northern Nevada and Utah.

Habitat: Thurber’s needlegrass is an important plant in semiarid locations in the northern Intermountain West. In the semiarid regions of Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and Utah it is found in association with sagebrush, saltbush, horsebrush, bitterbrush, winterfat, Sandberg bluegrass, Indian ricegrass, bluebunch wheatgrass and thickspike wheatgrass plant communities.


Public Domain

USDA NRCS Idaho State Office

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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