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Stipa is a genus of around 300 large perennial hermaphroditic grasses collectively known as feather grass, needle grass, and spear grass. They are placed in the subfamily Pooideae and the tribe Stipeae.

Green Needle Grass.jpg
Green needle grass,
Stipa viridula
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Tribe: Stipeae
Genus: Stipa

Some 300, see text.

  • Lasiagrostis Link
  • Orthoraphium Nees
  • Patis Ohwi
  • Sparteum P.Beauv., nom. inval.
  • Stupa Asch., orth. var.
  • Timouria Roshev.
  • Trichosantha Steud., nom. inval.[1]

Many species are important forage crops. Several species such as Stipa brachytricha, S. arundinacea, S. splendens, S. calamagrostis, S. gigantea and S. pulchra are used as ornamental plants. One species, esparto grass (Stipa tenacissima), is used for crafts and extensively in paper making.


Species of the genus Stipa can occur in grasslands[2] or in savanna habitats. Certain specific prairie plant associations are dominated by grasses of the genus Stipa, which genus often lends its name to the terminology of some prairie types.[3] In some areas of the western United States grasses of the genus Stipa form a significant part of the understory of Blue Oak savannas, and were even a more important element prehistorically before the invasion of many European grasses.[4]

Selected speciesEdit

Formerly placed hereEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Genus: Stipa L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1998-09-14. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
  2. ^ Elgaily Osman Ahmed, 1983
  3. ^ Ecological Society of America, 1921
  4. ^ *C. Michael Hogan, 2008
  5. ^ English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 647. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.
  6. ^ a b "GRIN Species Records of Stipa". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-06-27.


  • Elgaily Osman Ahmed (1983) Fire Ecology of Stipa Pulchra in California Annual Grassland, published by University of California, 128 pages
  • Ecological Society of America (1921) Ecology, published by Ecological Society of America, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, v.2
  • C. Michael Hogan (2008) Blue Oak: Quercus douglasii,, ed. N. Stromberg