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Common Name: Mutton Grass
Poa fendleriana is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Western N. America - British Columbia to Manitoba, south to California, Texas and Mexico.
Sagebrush desert to wooded areas at mid elevations on mountains and occasionally on dry ridges in the south of its range[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. The plant is dioecious, male and female plants will have to be grown if seed is required. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Succeeds in any well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position[
Seed - cooked[
]. A mild flavour, the seed can be cooked in stews etc, or can be ground into a powder and used in making bread, porridges, dumplings or whatever[
]. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails[
]. The seed is rather small and fiddly to harvest[
Seed - surface sow in the spring in a cold frame. Do not allow the compost to dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in the spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.