Stipa cernua

Nodding needle grass

Plant Type: Grass
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Occasional, Regular
Height X Width: 3' X 2'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
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Nodding needle grass is found in plant communities throughout much of California. It grows in an open, fountain form to about three feet. The seed heads of spring are large, with long awns (the “tail” of the seed) that hang generously from the seed stocks and wave gently with the slightest breeze. Nodding needle grass goes largely dormant in the summer, but can be kept slightly more green with occasional water. If grown within its native range, nodding needle grass will sprout from the seed dropped in prior years, though not a abundantly as those of purple needle grass, Stipa pulchra (in Santa Clara County). Plant in an area where a stand of this beautiful grass is welcome. Alternately, plant a single plant in a prominent spot where its form can be appreciated and remove the seed heads before they mature.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: No
Attractive to Butterflies: No
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen