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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Porcupine Needlegrass - Stipa spartea
Other Names:  Hesperostipa spartea

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SU

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Stems 70–110 cm. Leaves: blade 3–5 mm wide, essentially hairless at throat; ligule 2–6 mm long. Inflorescence a contracted panicle 15–25 cm long. Spikelet 25–45 mm long. Lemmas unevenly brownish hairy, with a stout awn 10–20 cm long (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
Throughout most of central and northern North America (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 47

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Cope, M.G. 1992. Distribution, habitat selection and survival of transplanted Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) in the Tobacco Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Porcupine Needlegrass — Stipa spartea.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from