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Achnatherum (speciosum)

Cheryl Decker
Nursery Manager
USDI NPS - Zion National Park
SR 9
Springdale, Utah 84767-1099

Family Scientific Name: Poaceae
Family Common Name: Grass Family
Scientific Name: Achnatherum speciosum (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth
Common Synonym: Stipa speciosa Trin. & Rupr.
Common Name: Desert needlegrass
Species Code: ACHSPE
Ecotype: Zion National Park, Utah
General Distribution: Achnatherum speciosum is found from Oregon and California south through the Great Basin States to Arizona and east to Colorado.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: D 40 containers
Time To Grow: 1 Years
Target Specifications: Height: N/A<br> Caliper: N/A<br> Root System: Firm root plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are hand collected from sites within the Park when fruits have fully matured.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are stored in sealed containers under refrigeration between 40 and 60 F.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are naturally stratified outdoors during fall months. Seeds are directly sown (3-5 per cell) into D40 cells containing a medium of 1.5 parts vermiculite, 1 part sterile sand, 1 part coarse turface, and 2 parts peat moss (v:v:v:v).
Cells are watered thoroughly after sowing and are not allowed to dry out completely during stratification and germination.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Seedlings are grown in a shadehouse from March through October.
Establishment Phase: We sometimes incorporate 13:13:13 NPK Osmocote time release fertilizer into media.
Active Growth Phase: Seedlings are hand watered throughout the growing season after they are well established. Throughout the active growth phase, we irrigate when containers are nearly dry as a method of hardening the plants while they are being grown.


Decker, Cheryl. 2003. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Achnatherum speciosum (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth plants D 40 containers; USDI NPS - Zion National Park Springdale, Utah. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/06/17). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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