Green Needlegrass

Planting Rate 6 to 7 PLS LBS per Acre
Plant Height 2-3 FT
Seed Count 181,000 seeds per lb.
Botanical Name Stipe viridule
Life Cycle Perennial
Environment Full Sun
Preferred Sites Dry Upland Soils


Green Needle grass is a cool-season native perennial bunchgrass. This grass is an important native of the Northern Great Plains, and is found as far South as Arizona. Green Needle grass naturally occurs on bottomlands, flat benches and overflow area along streams.

USES: Green Needle grass is well-suited for use in mixtures for range seeding, critical area establishment, mine land revegetation, wildlife habitat, and other plantings where the establishment of native vegetation is the objective. This species is nutritious, palatable, but decreases under grazing use. The awns are not as troublesome to livestock as with other needle grasses.

ESTABLISHMENT: This species is recommended for seeding mixes in the 12 to 18 inch precipitation zone. High dormancy is a characteristic of the seed of this species. Germinability improves for several years after harvest. Seedlings are slow in developing. Once established, they have good vigor. This species should be planted with equipment which provides for proper seed depth, a uniform seeding rate, and good seed to soil contact.

MANAGEMENT: Due to its early spring green-up, Green Needle grass is an important component of natural plant communities. This species is harvested for hay in native grass mixtures. In some areas, it makes up an appreciable portion of the yields of native hay from upland areas or from flats, on loamy to heavy clay soils. The hay is of good quality and is readily eaten by livestock. The time of peak forage production for green needle grass is from mid to late August.

PASTURE: Green Needle grass is not recommended for a solid seeding for grazing use. It is best used in pasture mixes. Growth begins in early spring, and cattle will seek it out. Growth continues in the fall when moisture conditions are favorable. It makes excellent recovery after grazing. It seems to stand up fairly well for winter grazing. This species will decrease under grazing use

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