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June 2013
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Achnatherum Speciosum or Desert Needlegrass is a variety of grass

Images of Achnatherum Speciosum at

Achnatherum Speciosum, also known as Desert Needlegrass is a variety of grass.

Overview of Achnatherum Speciosum

• It’s native to the south-western US from California to Colorado.
• Here it grows in dry areas, especially sagebrush habitat.
• It’s also known from Mexico and South USA.
• It is a short perennial bunchgrass.
• It reaches to a maximum height of 1–2 ft.
• The leaf blades are just one millimeter wide and rolled on the edges.
• The bases are stiff and remain so since the dense grass clump dries.
• The inflorescence is up to 2 inches long.
• It is dense and fluffy.
• Each spikelet can be quite hairy and contains a bent awn.
• It is nearly a centimeter long which is coated in long hairs.
• The stiff awn and also the sharp tip with the spikelet result the seeds as hazardous for animals.
• The hairs of the seed help in making animal coats and drift about the wind for dispersal.
• The awn also twists when wet.
• It helps the seed bury itself in the soil.

Scientific Classification for Achnatherum Speciosum

• Kingdom : Plantae
• (unranked) : Angiosperms
• (unranked) : Monocots
• (unranked) : Commelinids
• Order : Poales
• Family : Poaceae
• Genus : Achnatherum
• Species : A. speciosum
• Binomial name : Achnatherum speciosum

Growing/Caring conditions

• It truly is hardy to zone 8.
• It is in flower from May to July.
• The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and therefore are pollinated by Wind.
• It could fix Nitrogen.

Cultivation Details
• It succeeds in moderately fertile soil with moisture.
• The plant succeeds in full sun.
• The species tolerate temperatures to about -5°c.
• It is only suitable for the milder elements of the United States.
• These plants roots in many cases are surrounded by a rhizo sheath that harbors nitrogen-fixing organisms.
• These organisms probably contribute to the species’ success like a colonizer.
• This plant is suitable for light, medium and heavy soils.
• It prefers well-drained soil.
• The suitable pH for this plant is acid, neutral and basic soils.
• It wouldn’t grow inside shade.
• It prefers moist soil.
• The plant can tolerate strong winds but is not maritime exposure.

• Get results from sowing the seed in a greenhouse.
• Cover the seed.
• It should germinate freely within two weeks.
• Prick your seedlings into individual pots.
• Do so if they’re adequate to manage and plant them in early summer.
• Division should be done in spring.
• Larger divisions might be planted out direct in their permanent positions.
• It’s preferable to pot the smaller divisions.
• Grow them by avoiding shade in a very cold frame.
• Do so before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

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