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Achnatherum coronatum facts for kids

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Achnatherum coronatum
Achnatherum coronatum NPS-1.jpg
Scientific classification

Achnatherum coronatum (Thurb.) Barkworth

Stipa coronata, formerly classified as Achnatherum coronatum, is a greenish species of grass known by the common name crested needlegrass, giant ricegrass, and giant stipa.


The grass is native to southern California and Baja California, where it grows on the coastal and inland hills, often in chaparral, oak woodland, and yellow pine forest plant communities. It grows from sea level to 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in elevation. Stipa coronatum is found in the Peninsular Ranges, Transverse Ranges, southern Outer California Coast Ranges, and the Channel Islands.


Stipa coronatum is a perennial grass forming loose bunches up to about 2 metres (6.6 ft) in maximum height, but usually shorter. The clumps expand by short rhizomes. This species is similar to its inland relative, Stipa parishii, and occasionally the two intergrade in characteristics and are easily confused.

The grass bears a generous inflorescence up to 60 centimeters long with large spikelets up to 2 centimeters long each, not including an awn of up to 4.5 centimeters. The awn has two distinct kinks.

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