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Mexican Feathergrass

Nassella tenuissima

Other common name(s):

Mexican Wiregrass, Finestem Needlegrass, Ponytail Grass, Texas Tussock

Family:

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Chihuahuan Deserts
Chihuahuan Basins and Playas, Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands, Chihuahuan Montane Woodlands, Low Mountains and Bajadas, Stockton Plateau

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Grass & Sedge

Height

1
to
3
ft.

Spread

1
to
3
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Loam, Clay, Acid, Alkaline, Calcareous, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Grassland, Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

White

Bloom Season

Summer

Seasonal Interest

Unknown

Wildlife Benefit

Unknown

Maintenance

Requires good drainage and can’t take excessive moisture. Should not be watered heavily more than once a week. May rot under heavy mulch. Propagation: Seed.

Comments

Nassella tenuissima is popular in landscaping for its delicate, thread-like leaves. Goes dormant during drought and in winter. Grows well in containers. In nature it grows on rocky slopes, frequently in oak or pine associations but also in open, exposed grasslands. Its native range extends from the southwestern United States into northern Mexico.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym/s: Stipa tenuissima

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=NATE3. 3) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=18615&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 4) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Nassella+tenuissima&formsubmit=Search+Terms, 5) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=507085#null