Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Achnatherum lemmonii
Lemmon's needlegrass

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Grassy balds, prairies, sagebrush grasslands, and ponderosa pine forest, from the lowlands to middle elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Tufted perennial, the culms 2-7 dm. tall.


Sheaths open, glabrous to puberulent; ligules rounded, entire, 1-1.5 mm. long; blades involute, 1.5-2.5 mm. broad.


Inflorescence a narrow panicle 4-15 cm. long, the branches short, erect; spikelets 1-flowered; glumes broad, abruptly acuminate, subequal, 7-12 mm. long, 5-veined; floret 5-7.5 mm. long and 1-1.5 mm. thick; lemmas hardened, silky, with an awn from a terminal notch, the awn 18-29 mm. long, twice bent, the first two sections with hairs 0.5 mm. long; palea 2/3 as long as the lemma; stamens 3, the anthers purplish-red, 3-3.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Achnatherum lemmonii (Vasey) Barkworth
Publication: Phytologia 74(1): 8. 1993.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Eriocoma lemmonii (Vasey) Romasch.
Stipa columbiana Macoun
Stipa lemmonii (Vasey) Scribn. [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Achnatherum lemmonii in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Achnatherum lemmonii checklist entry

OregonFlora: Achnatherum lemmonii information

E-Flora BC: Achnatherum lemmonii atlas page

CalPhotos: Achnatherum lemmonii photos

19 photographs:
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