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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Western Porcupine Grass - Stipa curtiseta
Other Names:  Hesperostipa curtiseta

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SU

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Cespitose perennials 30-65 cm tall. Culms sometimes hairy at nodes. Leaf sheaths glabrous; ligules of upper leaves 1-2.5 mm long and pointed, those of lower leaves 0.2-0.8 mm wide and truncate; blades 8-26 cm long, 0.6-2.5 mm wide (usually involute at maturity). Panicle 6-24 cm long, contrated. Glumes subequal, 1.4-2.6 cm long, acuminate or awn-ponted, mostly 5-to 7-nerved; lemma 10.5-14 mm long, indistintly 5-nerved, strongly hairy on callus and lower part and the upper margins, rarely the pubescence more general, a small crown of hairs at base of awn; awns 5-10.5 cm long, twice geniculate (bent), the lower portion tightly twisted, the upper part relatively straight; palea prominent but enclosed by lemma; anthers 0.1-0.5 mm long (flowers cleistogamous) (adapted from: Sutherland, 1986, Flora of the Great Plains).

Treated as a synonym of Stipa comata by Lavin (2012).

Range Comments
Canada south to MT, ND, and northeast WY (Barkworth 2007 in Fl. N. Amer. Vol. 24).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 30

(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)

Light to clay loam in prairies and northern intermontane grasslands (Barkworth 2007 in Fl. N. Amer. Vol. 24).

  • 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:
Western Porcupine Grass — Stipa curtiseta.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from