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June 2013
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Stipa barbata, also known as Silver Feather grass

Images of this grass as seen on Google Images (link)

The grass Stipa barbata, which is also called as Silver Feather grass, is a species of perennial grass.

Some details about Stipa Barbata

This grass is native to many geographic regions
• Southern Europe
• North Africa
• The Levant in the Mediterranean Basin
• Temperate Asia

The plant is a bunchgrass with the following characteristics:

• Culms which are 30 to 60 cm long
• Flexuous leaf blades
• Filiform: Leaf shapes that are Thread- or filament-shaped
• Conduplicate: Leaves that are folded lengthwise along the middle
• Involute: Curled inwards
• Leaf blades are 15–30 cm long by 1–2 mm wide
• The grass is a beautiful and a slow growing grass.
• It forms a foliage clump.
• They appear in June and July.
• It forms dramatic feather-like awns that are extremely long.
• The silvery silky plumes wave and undulate in the slightest breeze.
• The awns end in one seed.
• Stipa is a genus which consists of about 300 large perennial hermaphroditic grasses.
• Many species are important forage crops.
• One of the species is used for crafts and extensively used in paper making.
• Species belonging to the genus Stipa usually occur in grasslands or in savanna habitats.

Scientific Classification of the grass (for those who are interested in more scientific description):

• Kingdom: Plantae
• Angiosperms
• Monocots
• Commelinids
• Order: Poales
• Family: Poaceae
• Genus: Stipa
• Species: S. barbata
• Binomial name: Stipa barbata

Growing/Caring conditions:

• The plant prefers hardiness of USDA Zones 6-10.
• Prepare the planting site by removing all vegetation and loosening the soil.
• The depth of the soil should be eight to ten inches.
• Prepare a planting hole that is two times the width and equal to the depth of the root system of the stipa species.
• Plant the roots at the level at which they were originally growing (so you do need to know this amount of information – ask the place from where you get the plant)
• Cover these roots with the loosened soil.
• Water the grass following planting till the soil is uniformly moist, however if the upper inch of the soil does not feel moist after planting, provide additional moisture.
• Water only during drought conditions as soon as the stipa species are well-established.
• Apply 1 pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer to every 100 feet square of planting space in spring, just as growth starts, mixing the moisture with the surface level of the soil.
• Water the grass deeply.
• Pull a rake through the clumps at the end of winter to eliminate loose foliage.
• Trim the plants back, during late winter, doing this more for the look, else the foliage looks messy.
• Divide large clumps of Stipa species in spring.
• The plant needs full sun, light to full shade.
• It needs moist fertile soil.
• However, it is adaptable to several soil types.

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