Needle-and-Thread

Hesperostipa comata

Needle and Thread grass is called this because of the unusually long twisted awns (stiff bristles) that are suggestive of a threaded sewing needle. 7

By Arianna Bruso (13), and LaTonya Lopez (13) from Albuquerque Sign Language Academy (ASLA)

Hesperostipa comata, commonly known as needle-and-thread grass, is a species of grass native to North America, especially the western third. It has a wide distribution spanning from northern Canada to Mexico.

The Hesperostipa Comata is commonly known as, Needle and Thread. Needle and Thread grass is called this because of the unusually long twisted awns, stiff bristles, especially ones that grow from an ear of a flower, like barley, rye, and many grasses, that are suggestive of a threaded sewing needle (Brett Young, “Needle and Thread Grass”). Mostly adapted to prairies, Needle and Thread Grass is common in Southern Regions. It is adapted to brown, dark brown and black soils zones (Brett Young, “Needle and Thread Grass”). This plant is 25 inches tall. The life form is Bunchgrass, a grass that grows in clumps. The weight of the plant is 29.10lb and will normally start to grow in the early spring time, before most grass grows.

The plant is eaten by wildlife mostly in the winter and spring. This type of grass is very effective at preventing wind from shifting sandy soils. It is the first plant to grow in disturbed sandy sites. The awns on the grass detaches from the inside of the seed and gives it the visual of long leaves on the grass. This plant starts to grow in the springtime. The grass drops the seeds that is inside of it onto the ground and right after fall the seed will start to sprout.

The long sharpened awns/leaves can severely injure animals. The grass has a little sharp seed at the end of the awn and that seed scrapes against life stock and can injure the life stocks’ vision, walking, and their eating. When animals eat this seed it has a big effect on the animal's mouth and eating habits. Needle and thread is important to both wildlife and livestock, elk and deer graze it, meanwhile livestock is dependent to needle and thread on how and when it is grazed.

Work Cited
“Needle and thread grass (Hersperostipa comtata).” 7 May 2019.

“Hersperostipa Comtata (Needle and Thread)” Granite seed and Erosion control. 7 May
2019.

“Plant guide (hersperostipa comtata)” USDANRC. 7 May 2019.

“Needle and Thread grass (Stipa comtata)” Grasses . 7 May 2019.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) tmassey, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/8710162
  2. no rights reserved, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/7806902
  3. (c) sarapar, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/2115741
  4. (c) Corey Lange, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/9170217
  5. (c) ellen hildebrandt, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/4278351
  6. (c) kkucera, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/20492082
  7. Adapted by smiller33 from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperostipa_comata

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