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 Weather Station

Products > Piptochaetium fimbriatum
Piptochaetium fimbriatum - Pinyon Ricegrass

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: Southwest (U.S.) (North America)
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Stipa fimbriata, P. fimbriatum var. confine]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
Piptochaetium fimbriatum (Pinyon Ricegrass) - A very attractive perennial small clumping warm-season grass that grows with foliage to 1 to 2 feet tall with a 5-8 inch long loose panicle of long awned flowers rising above the foliage in summer. We are not aware of this plant being used in California landscapes but suggest trying this plant in dry shade gardens, though in our coastal California gardens it will likely tolerate full sun. Water sparingly if at all. Hardiness not known but likely to at least 10F. This plant is an understory component in oak and pinyon woods of the southwestern United States from southern Arizona to western Texas and southward into Mexico. It is a very attractive grass and is palatable for grazing deer and is used as nesting material by quail. Piptochaetium is primarily a South American genus with 27 species of which 4 are native to areas within the US. The elongated awn species such as P. fimbriatum were previously included with the genus Stipa. The name Piptochaetium comes from the Greek 'pipto' meaning "fall" and 'chaite' meaning "long hair", likely in reference to the old leaves at the base of the plant that are long, spreading, and curly. Our plants from seed we collected in 2008 on private property in the San Rafael Valley while on a "prairie dog" adventure with John Greenlee (AKA , The Grassman), Neal Debold (AKA Prairie Neal) and Arizona's own Scott Calhoun of Zona Gardens. This beautiful little grass, at first unidentified, was christened "Pseudostipa bitchenensis".  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted on this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in the nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Piptochaetium fimbriatum.