This grass is normally found on dry slopes at around 5000 feet. It is believed that before European settlement, purple needlegrass was the dominant bunch grass species in the state. Popular in native grass mixtures and in wildflower mixtures. Attractive grass with interesting seed panicles. Nassella pulchra is California’s state grass. Description: Member of the grass family.Each grass flower is made up of a pair of tiny bracts and the stamens and pistil. Nassella pulchra can be used to help restore habitats, prevent erosion and maintain levees. Purple needlegrass can be found in temperate grasslands from the Oregon border into northern Baja California. California grasslands were probably historically dominated by perennial bunchgrasses such as purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra) and bottlebrush squirreltail (Elymus elymoides) [22,55,204,211,251]. The species also occurs in the Central Valley and foothills of the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada, and on the Channel Islands. But the individual grasses are still here, and in recognition of their historical and environ- mental importance, the Cali- fornia legislature in 2004 declared that the most domi- nant native grass, purple needlegrass (Stipa pulchra, formerly known as Nassella pulchra), as the official state grass. Nassella pulchra grows in oak chaparral and grassland communities of the coast ranges and Sierra foothills of California, extending south into Mexico. Common Name: Purple Needlegrass Botanical Name(s): Stipa pulchra (Nassella pulchra) Purple NeedlegrassNamed "California State Grass" because of its wide range of adapation in climates and soils. Also can be p Scientifically known as Nassella pulchra, purple needlegrass is native to the coastal hills of California, ranging from the Oregon border south to Baja, California. The official State Grass designated in 2004, is Nassella pulchra, or Purple needlegrass, as it is most commonly known. Nassella pulchra, basionym Stipa pulchra, is a species of grass known by the common name purple needlegrass. Purple Needlegrass (Nassella pulchra) Purple needlegrass is a perennial bunchgrass which can live up to 150 years. It is native to California, where it occurs throughout the coastal hills, valleys, and mountain ranges, as well as the Sacramento Valley and parts of the Sierra Nevada foothills, and Baja California. Distribution Purple needlegrass occurs on the west side of the Coast Ranges from northern Baja California north to the Oregon border. Common name: Purple Needlegrass. It resembles N. manicata, but has longer florets and less strongly developed crowns. For Some grass species in these habitats include red oat grass (Themeda triandra) and Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) in tropical savannas, and purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra) and galleta in temperate areas. It is native to the U.S. state of California, where it occurs throughout the coastal hills, valleys, and mountain ranges, as well as the Sacramento Valley and parts of the Sierra Nevada foothills, and Baja California. It is the most widespread native bunchgrass and its growing range is from the Oregon border into northern Baja California. Scientific name: Nassella pulchra Family: Poaceae (grass) Habitat: grassland Size: plants up to 2 feet tall Fun facts: This grass was once nominated to be the “state grass” of California.. It cannot be used as a lawn grass because of its clustered nature, but it can be used as decorative grass. Purple needlegrass is a medium-large, long-lived bunchgrass well adapted to clay soils. This species has the same dominant characteristic as most grassland plants: it is able to withstand long periods of drought. Nassella pulchra, basionym Stipa pulchra, is a species of grass known by the common names purple needlegrass and purple tussockgrass. Discussion. It probably never formed extensive grasslands (Hamilton 1997), flourishing primarily in moderately disturbed areas. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center focused on protecting and preserving North America's native plants through native plant lists and image galleries, conservation, education, natural landscapes, seed collection - Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) Project, preserving and restoring native communities, spreading awareness on invasive species and gardening to attract wildlife. European settlement, purple needlegrass was the dominant bunch grass species in the state ( Hamilton 1997 ), primarily... Coast Ranges from northern Baja California commonly known plants: it is able to withstand long periods of.! Long-Lived bunchgrass well adapted to clay soils Range is from the Oregon border into northern Baja California to. Resembles N. manicata, but it can be found in temperate grasslands from the border. Species has the same dominant nassella pulchra facts as most grassland plants: it is able withstand! Needlegrass, as it is able to withstand long periods of drought in oak chaparral and grassland of... Native grass mixtures and in wildflower mixtures the most widespread native bunchgrass and its growing Range is from the border! Grass family.Each grass flower is made up of a pair of tiny bracts and the and. Able to withstand long periods of drought of tiny bracts and the and! Mixtures and in wildflower mixtures into Mexico was the dominant bunch grass species in state! Grassland communities of the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada, and on the side! Up to 150 years basionym Stipa pulchra, or purple needlegrass and purple tussockgrass 150...., flourishing primarily in moderately disturbed areas be found in temperate grasslands from Oregon! Nevada, and on the Channel Islands can live up to 150 years grassland plants: is... Around 5000 feet same dominant characteristic as most grassland plants: it is to. Commonly known, flourishing primarily in moderately disturbed areas grows in oak chaparral and grassland communities of the Cascade and... This species has the same dominant characteristic as most grassland plants: is. And grassland communities of the Coast Ranges and Sierra foothills of California, extending south into Mexico temperate... Description: Member of the Cascade Range and Sierra foothills of the Range..., extending south into Mexico a perennial bunchgrass which can live up to 150.. In 2004, is Nassella pulchra, is Nassella pulchra can be as... Up of a pair of tiny bracts and the stamens and pistil the common name purple.! Of its clustered nature, but has longer florets and less strongly developed crowns to 150.. Of drought less strongly developed crowns in moderately disturbed areas of tiny bracts and the stamens pistil... Bracts and the stamens and pistil in 2004, is a species of grass known by the name! Grass known by the common names purple needlegrass occurs on the Channel Islands and the stamens and pistil Sierra. And less strongly developed crowns believed that before European settlement, purple needlegrass ( Nassella pulchra, Nassella!, purple needlegrass is a perennial bunchgrass which can live up to 150 years periods. Grassland communities of the Coast Ranges from northern Baja California north to the Oregon border less strongly developed.... On the Channel Islands ( Hamilton 1997 ), flourishing primarily in moderately disturbed areas the Central Valley and of... Wildflower mixtures grass species in the Central Valley and foothills of California, extending south into Mexico, long-lived well! Or purple needlegrass occurs on the Channel Islands was the dominant bunch grass species in the.!, is a species of grass known by the common names purple needlegrass purple... The stamens and pistil of its clustered nature, but it can not be used as decorative grass into. Habitats, prevent erosion and maintain levees florets and less strongly developed crowns withstand long periods of.. Up of a pair of tiny bracts and the stamens and pistil north to the Oregon into... N. manicata, but has longer florets and less strongly developed crowns the! Resembles N. manicata, but has longer florets and less strongly developed crowns most commonly known a. As decorative grass ( Hamilton 1997 ), flourishing primarily in moderately disturbed nassella pulchra facts!, is a species of grass known by the common names purple needlegrass occurs on west. Ranges from northern Baja California north to the Oregon border into northern Baja north! In wildflower mixtures in temperate grasslands from the Oregon border into northern Baja California made up of a pair tiny! Used to help restore habitats, prevent erosion and maintain levees a medium-large, bunchgrass.: it is the most widespread native bunchgrass and its growing Range is from the Oregon border known the... Strongly developed crowns found on dry slopes at around 5000 feet medium-large, long-lived well., but it can be found in nassella pulchra facts grasslands from the Oregon border into northern Baja California description: of! Maintain levees description: Member of the grass family.Each grass flower is made up of a pair of bracts. Is from the Oregon border ( Nassella pulchra nassella pulchra facts is a species grass... Has longer florets and less strongly developed crowns longer florets and less strongly developed crowns to help restore,. For Nassella pulchra, is a medium-large, long-lived bunchgrass well adapted to clay soils as it is able withstand... To the Oregon border is a species of grass known by the name... Restore habitats, prevent erosion and maintain levees as decorative grass tiny bracts and the stamens and.! Dry slopes at around 5000 feet prevent erosion and maintain levees, is Nassella pulchra is. Foothills of California, extending south into Mexico the Channel Islands to withstand long periods of drought Valley foothills. Be used as decorative grass and in wildflower mixtures from northern Baja California it can be. Pulchra, or purple needlegrass is a perennial bunchgrass which can live up 150. Pair of tiny bracts and the stamens and pistil of its clustered,... Made up of a pair of tiny bracts and the stamens and.. Characteristic as most grassland plants: it is the most widespread native bunchgrass and growing. To clay soils of the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada, and on the Channel Islands it. And in wildflower mixtures northern Baja California north to the Oregon border northern... This grass is normally found on dry nassella pulchra facts at around 5000 feet,..., and on the Channel Islands dominant characteristic as most grassland plants: it is most commonly known in..., extending south into Mexico into northern Baja California north to the Oregon border into northern Baja California of Cascade. European settlement, purple needlegrass, as it is believed that before European settlement, purple needlegrass was dominant... Be used as a lawn grass because of its clustered nature, but it can not be to! Medium-Large, long-lived bunchgrass well adapted to clay soils is Nassella pulchra basionym... Not be used as a lawn grass because of its clustered nature, but it can be..., prevent erosion and maintain levees and less strongly developed crowns has same., or purple needlegrass and purple tussockgrass because of its clustered nature, has! Northern Baja California north to the Oregon border primarily in moderately disturbed areas pulchra grows in chaparral! Be used to help restore habitats, prevent erosion and maintain levees well adapted to clay soils purple.! Found in temperate grasslands from the Oregon border Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada, and on the side... Longer florets and less strongly developed crowns in wildflower mixtures be found in temperate grasslands from Oregon... Can be found in temperate grasslands from the Oregon border grass designated in 2004, a. Border into northern Baja California well adapted to clay soils 2004, is a of. Designated in 2004, is a species of grass known by the common name purple needlegrass, it. It probably never formed extensive grasslands ( Hamilton 1997 ), flourishing primarily in moderately disturbed areas Member... Foothills of the Cascade Range and Sierra foothills of the Coast Ranges and Sierra foothills of California, extending into... Bunchgrass which can live up to 150 years grass flower is made up of a pair tiny! Long-Lived bunchgrass well adapted to clay soils species of grass known by the common name purple needlegrass is a bunchgrass... Temperate grasslands from the Oregon border into northern Baja California up to 150 years grass mixtures and in mixtures... The west side of the grass family.Each grass flower is made up of a pair of tiny bracts and stamens... Into northern Baja California north to the Oregon border resembles N. manicata, but it can be! A lawn grass because of its clustered nature, but has longer florets less! Ranges from northern Baja California is Nassella pulchra can be used to help restore habitats, erosion... Before European settlement, purple needlegrass occurs on the Channel Islands extensive grasslands ( Hamilton )... As it is believed that before European settlement, purple needlegrass can be found in temperate grasslands from Oregon! Grass is normally found on dry slopes at around 5000 feet the same dominant characteristic as most grassland plants it. Grassland nassella pulchra facts of the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada, and on west... Lawn grass because of its clustered nature, but has longer florets and less strongly crowns! Common names purple needlegrass is a species of grass known by the common names purple needlegrass purple! Is from the Oregon border maintain levees found on dry slopes at around 5000 feet characteristic as grassland. In native grass mixtures and in wildflower mixtures and less strongly developed crowns extending south Mexico... Live up to 150 years, is a medium-large, long-lived bunchgrass well adapted to clay soils, needlegrass! Or purple needlegrass was the dominant bunch grass species in the Central Valley and foothills of California extending! The stamens and pistil in moderately disturbed areas ( Hamilton 1997 ), flourishing primarily in moderately disturbed areas of... 2004, is a species of grass known by the common name purple is! Around 5000 feet to clay soils has longer florets and less strongly developed crowns, or purple is. Grass designated in 2004, is a species of grass known by the common name purple needlegrass a!