A 1-2 ft. perennial bunch grass, native to most of the foothills of California. Native on the nursery site under deciduous oaks in part-shade and sometimes in full sun. Usually, cattle take these grasses down to 1/2", horses 2-3". This one if left alone gets to around 2 ft. and is full. Stipas "are the redwoods of the grass world" (Don Reese, a USDA soil conservationist). They can live for 100+ years. I think in many of their habitats they regenerate only when there are ideal conditions that may occur only every 60-130 years. The Stipas occur throughout California in many plant communities. They do not form large solid stands except in 20-50 ft. clumps near seeps, but in most areas they stand as locus individuals. In the Coastal Prairie and Valley Grassland they occur with annual wildflowers, buckwheats (Eriogonum), Golden Yarrow (Eriophyllum), Salt brush (Atriplex spp.), and Sagebrush (Atriplex spp.). The desert plant communities have many of these same genera along with the bunch grasses. For the bunch grasses to be stable long-term, plant the Stipas at 3 ft. intervals with at least some of the wildflowers from the native community between the Stipa. If you can plant a perennial for every 5-10 Stipas all should be happy. If you want to plant an Oak woodland with Stipas, plant them in the open areas between the evergreen trees, and under the deciduous oaks. Weeds are a problem in these type plantings so keep an eye on them. Weed removal will be a constant, as the alien plant species will seed in every year, to compete with the bunch grasses and the wildflowers.
Foliage of Stipa lepida is deciduous.
Flower of Stipa lepida has color na.
Communities for Stipa lepida:Chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub and Coastal Prairie.