California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Nassella tenuissima - Mexican Feather Grass

Nassella tenuissima, the Mexican Feather Grass is soft and shiny in the spring garden. Nassella tenuissima should be trimmed severely in the later part of the summer as the seed heads start to dry. Once matured the seed is very easily started and Nassella tenuissima can become quite the pest. The florets are very prone to sticking in socks or the fur of your pets. Nassella tenuissima is not recommended for gardens near wild areas as the Mexican Feather Grass can easily escape. I use Nassella tenuissima with reluctance, take care to cut plants back hard to remove dried seed, and refrain from planting in gardens likely to present a problem by being too close to a wildland. To the good, Nassella tenuissima grows without much and sometimes without any irrigation once established. And for Southern California gardens this does not present a huge range extension for Nassella tenuissima, coming from Baja California. In fact many of our favorite native plants have greater extensions to their range when they come to us from Northern California. Nassella tenuissima has somewhat deservedly started to show up on noxious plants lists because of how many seedlings show up both in the garden and down the street. The Mexican Feather Grass may be found under its old name as Stipa tenuissima. Nassella tenuissima seedlings can establish in areas that never get irrigated. The Mexican Feather Grass comes from a tougher environment that most of our gardens. Nassella tenuissima is a larval food for the California Common Ringlet butterfly.

Nassella tenuissima, Mexican Feather Grass

Golden arching flower stalks of Nassella tenuissima - Mexican Feather Grass. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Other plants from the genus Nassela featured on this site:
Nassella pulchra
Nassella speciosa