Long known as Stipa robusta, the name was changed to Achnatherum robustum (Vasey) Barkworth in 1993 (see Phytologia 74: 12 (1993)) and more recently the name Eriocoma robusta (Vasey) Romasch has been proposed (see PhytoKeys 126: 104 (2019)). The plant is likely to be referred to in any of these names, even in more modern literature[
Achnatherum robustum (Vasey) Barkworth
Stipa robusta (Vasey) Scribn.
Stipa vaseyi Scribn.
Common Name: Sleepy Grass
Eriocoma robusta is a perennial, clump-forming grass that usually grows around 100 - 150cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
Central, western and southern N. America - Wyoming and S. Dakota, south through Arizona and Kansas to Texas and northeast Mexico
Dry plains, hills and dry open woods[
Easily grown in an ordinary well-drained garden soil in full sun[
]. Succeeds in dry soils.
The plant is hypnotic[
]. It is used for inducing sleep[
Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks, but make sure that the compost does not dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. The seed can also be sown outdoors in mid spring.
Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.