Needleandthread (Hesperostipa comata)
Plant Family: Poaceae
Project BudBurst Plant Group: Grasses
Identification Hints: Needleandthread grass gets it's name from the long twisted awns that stick out from the seeds. These awns are about 4-5 in long. The grass grows about 1 to 4 ft in height and the leaves are about 8 to 12 in long. The greenish flowers are extremely tiny and are best seen with the help of a magnifying glass or loop. The inflorescence (or flower clusters) are branched and bloom between May and July. Needleandthread grass is generally found in western prairies and open areas.
Did you Know? The awns attached to the seeds of Needleandthread grass are really unique. They usually appear twisted but they will untwist when the humidity rises and then twist back up when the air dries out again. If the seed and awn have blown away from the parent plant and are on the ground, the twisting and untwisting action that occurs with changes in humidity will drill the awn (and with it the seed) into the ground. In some ways, this plant can actually help bury itself! Needleandthread grass is an important grazing plant during the spring (before the awns appear) for black-tailed prairied dogs, elk, deer, and jackrabbits.
Live Map for Needleandthread
Below you can view all observations that have been reported in for Needleandthread (If the map below is empty then there have not been any observations reported.)
Use the navigation buttons on the left to zoom in/out and pan around. Click on each place marker to get detail information about that observation.
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The table below displays all the data that has been submitted to Project BudBurst. By default, the data is sorted by the date on which the phenophase occurred. Clicking the up and down arrows next to each column name allows you to sort on any value. If there have been more than 10 observations submitted, you can choose how many to display at a time using the "Show __ entries" control. You can also page through the data using the previous and next buttons at the bottom right of the table.
The Search box allows you to search all of the data. Searching by date, species, phenophase, etc. is easy—just start typing and the table will immediately change to contain only observations that contain your search phrase. Do you want to see only 2012 observations? Just type "2012" in the search box. Only want to see maples? Enter "Acer." You can combine searches, too! Searching for "acer 2012" will narrow your results to only the maples that were observed in 2012 (assuming that any observations exist, of course).
Once you have your results in the order desired, you can use any of the buttons above the search box to copy the results to the clipboard; save them as a text, or spreadsheet; or even print them from your browser!
Observational data for Needleandthread:
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