Noted: Great Design Plant: Purple Needle Grass, California’s State Grass via Houzz

Great Design Plant: Purple Needle Grass, California’s State Grass via Houzz

Landscape by San Francisco Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Pete Veilleux, East Bay Wilds

Selected as the official California state grass in 2004, purple needle grass (Stipa pulchra) has a tough constitution and showy awns, making this native bunchgrass an option for low-water home gardens and restoration projects (see the caution regarding growing it near pets below, though). The quintessential California native grass, purple needle grass announces itself each spring with a flush of growth, even without rain. In the summer it shimmers with gold while its awns and seeds sway and sparkle in the breeze. It looks best during the summer and fall, when other native plants are fading. It goes dormant as the year progresses, only to revive again in the spring.

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