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Hesperostipa comata   (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth  subsp. comata 
[=Stipa comata Trin. & Rupr.]
Cheyenne County, Kansas
Height: 1-4 feet
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   June, July
Culms: Erect, sparingly branched, hollow, glabrous or pubescent at nodes.
Blades: Flat or rolled inward, narrow, 2 to 16 inches long, less than 1/3 inch wide, conspicuously ridged, glabrous or rough.
Sheaths: Usually longer than internodes, open, glabrous or rough, conspicuously veined.
Ligules: Membranous, tips pointed, notched at top.
Inflorescences: Narrow panicles, contracted or open, 4 to 20 inches long, bases usually enclosed in uppermost sheaths; branches slender, ascending.
Spikelets: Borne near tips of branches, 1-flowered, drooping at flowering; glumes .5 to 1.5 inch long, 3-5-nerved, tapered to slender tips; lemmas to 1/2 inch long, pale to brownish, lightly pubescent, stiff-hairy at bases; awns 4 to 8 inches long, bases with tiny crown of hairs, tightly coiled below, loosely coiled or zigzag near ends.
Habitat: Dry prairies and pastures, on well-drained sandy or rocky soils.
Distribution: West 1/5 of Kansas.
Forage Value: Needle-and-thread has fair to good forage value for livestock prior to fruiting.
Uses: The Blackfoot noted the appearance of this grass to determine the best time to hunt bison.
Comments: Densely tufted. The awns can cause injuries to eyes and tongues and can contaminate wool.

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