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Indian Ricegrass

00061

Indian Ricegrass 00061

Stipa hymenoides (Previously Oryzopsis hymenoides) is commonly known as Indian Ricegrass or Sand rice grass, the official state grass of Nevada. It is a perennial cool-season bunchgrass with very narrow, rolled leaf blades, and is native to western North America. It typically grows up to 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide.

S. hymenoides grows in a variety of habitats from desert scrub to ponderosa pine forests. It can live in soils from sand to clay, but it does particularly well in sandy soils, and is an excellent choice for soil stabilization. Indian Ricegrass is an important food for wildlife, and the lacy flower stalk is commonly used in dry flower arrangements.

In the past, the grass was a staple food of Native Americans, who ground the seeds to make flour. The Zuni people used the ground seeds as a staple before the availability of corn.

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