Achnatherum speciosum (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth
Achnatherum speciosum Bubani
Jarava speciosa (Trin. & Rupr.) Peñail.
Stipa humilis jonesiana Kuntze
Stipa humilis speciosa (Trin. & Rupr.) Kuntze
Stipa speciosa Trin. & Rupr.
Stipa tehuelches Speg.
Common Name: Desert Needlegrass
Pappostipa speciosa is a perennial, clump-forming grass producing numerous culms around 25 - 90cm long[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Southwest N. America - Oregon to Colorado, south to northwest Mexico and New Mexico; S. America - Chile, Argentina
Deserts, canyons and rocky hills[
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Pappostipa speciosa is a plant of drier areas ,usually found in Mediterranean climates with mild winters and warm to hot summers. It grows in the cool season and flowers in the spring. It can tolerate arid areas, and is usually found there the mean annual rainfall is within the range 150 - 500mm[
The plant requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil. It typically grows on coarse soils with little or no profile development, including alluvial fans, dry rocky hills, talus slopes, and in canyons[
Seed production is highly variable depending on rainfall, and little seed is produced when soil moisture is low and temperatures are high[
Seed - cooked[
].The seed can either be ground into a grain or cooked whole. When boiled, the seed swells up in the same way as rice, and it is said that a cupful is sufficient to fill a pot[
]. The seed is small and fiddly, but able to be harvested in quantity. Traditionally, the stems are harvested in the summer when the seed is ripe. The stems are either placed on rocks and dried for half a day then burned in order to remove the seed, or they are dried for two days and then threshed. The seed can then be winnowed to remove the chaff[
The plant is not very tolerant of being walked on, but it can be used for can be used for ground cover in arid areas where there is only light disturbance, its roots helping to bind the soil and prevent erosion[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe.
Division of the clump.