California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Nassella pulchra, Stipa Pulchra - Purple Needlegrass

Nassella pulchra is the California State grass and is native to much of California and into Mexico. The purple needle grass was a dominant part of our grasslands prior to the introduction of the wealth of weeds that now dominate our grasslands. In order to grow the Purple Needlegrass the primary issue is annual grass competition. Periodic mowing, approximately once a season, and naturally dry conditions, will keep the annual grasses at a competitive dissadvantage. I mow Nassella pulchra at about 5-6 inches tall. And I time my mowing to happen before the annual grasses have seet seed. Depending on how the annual grasses are doing I will sometimes have to mow a second time, but after the first season this is rare. A string trimmer is my favored tool for this in the garden setting. Grasslands are typically found on heavy soils. Nassella pulchra prefers full sun. Nassella pulchra can be found in openings in the chapparal, oak woodland and mixed evergreen forest. Nassella pulchra was an important food resource. The Purple Needlegrass is still often found at many nurseries under the old name Stipa pulchra

High resolution photos of Nassella pulchra are part of our garden image collection.

Nassella pulchra, Purple Needlegrass