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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Lemmon's Needlegrass - Stipa lemmonii
Other Names:  Achnatherum lemmonii

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Status Under Review
Undetermined Origin

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SU
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Reported for Montana by Hitchcock and Cronquist (1973) and Dorn (1984). More information is needed to document the status of the species in the state.
General Description
Tufted perennials 30-80 cm tall. Leaf sheaths glabrous to hairy; ligules 1-3 mm long; blades involute-filform or flat and then 1-2 mm wide, glabrous or scaberulous to puberulent. Panicle 5-12 cm long, narrow, branches mostly erect. Glumes 7-11 mm long, equal to or the lower slightly shorter than the lemma, apex sharp (sometimes hair-like), more or less obscurely 3- to 5-nerved, more or less membranous, occasionally purple-tinged; lemma 5.5-7 mm long, more or less hairy with appressed to spreading hairs to ca. 1 mm long (hairs fewer and shorter at apex), pale or brown at maturity and leathery or hardened, the free apical margin of the lemma thickened and forming a firm, unilateral hump at the tip of the mature fruit, awn 10-30(-35) mm long, mostly twice geniculate, the lower 2/3 twisted and puberulent; palea nearly as long as lemma, abruptly acute at the apex, glabrous or inconspicuously hairy (adapted from: Welsh et al., 1993, A Utah Flora, 2nd ed.).

Range Comments
BC to CA, east to MT, ID, and UT (Kartesz in prep. 2012).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 13

(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)

Grass and sagebrush communities and open woodlands (Welsh et al., 1993, A Utah Flora, 2nd ed.).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Lemmon's Needlegrass — Stipa lemmonii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from