Popular in native grass mixtures and in wildflower mixtures. For Nassella pulchra is California’s state grass. It is native to the U.S. state of California, where it occurs throughout the coastal hills, valleys, and mountain ranges, as well as the Sacramento Valley and parts of the Sierra Nevada foothills, and Baja California. Attractive grass with interesting seed panicles. It cannot be used as a lawn grass because of its clustered nature, but it can be used as decorative grass. This grass is normally found on dry slopes at around 5000 feet. This species has the same dominant characteristic as most grassland plants: it is able to withstand long periods of drought. The species also occurs in the Central Valley and foothills of the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada, and on the Channel Islands. It probably never formed extensive grasslands (Hamilton 1997), flourishing primarily in moderately disturbed areas. It resembles N. manicata, but has longer florets and less strongly developed crowns. Scientifically known as Nassella pulchra, purple needlegrass is native to the coastal hills of California, ranging from the Oregon border south to Baja, California. The official State Grass designated in 2004, is Nassella pulchra, or Purple needlegrass, as it is most commonly known. Nassella pulchra grows in oak chaparral and grassland communities of the coast ranges and Sierra foothills of California, extending south into Mexico. Discussion. But the individual grasses are still here, and in recognition of their historical and environ- mental importance, the Cali- fornia legislature in 2004 declared that the most domi- nant native grass, purple needlegrass (Stipa pulchra, formerly known as Nassella pulchra), as the official state grass. Description: Member of the grass family.Each grass flower is made up of a pair of tiny bracts and the stamens and pistil. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center focused on protecting and preserving North America's native plants through native plant lists and image galleries, conservation, education, natural landscapes, seed collection - Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) Project, preserving and restoring native communities, spreading awareness on invasive species and gardening to attract wildlife. Nassella pulchra can be used to help restore habitats, prevent erosion and maintain levees. California grasslands were probably historically dominated by perennial bunchgrasses such as purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra) and bottlebrush squirreltail (Elymus elymoides) [22,55,204,211,251]. Purple needlegrass is a medium-large, long-lived bunchgrass well adapted to clay soils. Distribution Purple needlegrass occurs on the west side of the Coast Ranges from northern Baja California north to the Oregon border. Nassella pulchra, basionym Stipa pulchra, is a species of grass known by the common names purple needlegrass and purple tussockgrass. Purple Needlegrass (Nassella pulchra) Purple needlegrass is a perennial bunchgrass which can live up to 150 years. Some grass species in these habitats include red oat grass (Themeda triandra) and Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) in tropical savannas, and purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra) and galleta in temperate areas. It is native to California, where it occurs throughout the coastal hills, valleys, and mountain ranges, as well as the Sacramento Valley and parts of the Sierra Nevada foothills, and Baja California. Common name: Purple Needlegrass. Common Name: Purple Needlegrass Botanical Name(s): Stipa pulchra (Nassella pulchra) Purple NeedlegrassNamed "California State Grass" because of its wide range of adapation in climates and soils. Purple needlegrass can be found in temperate grasslands from the Oregon border into northern Baja California. 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