Utah State Grass - Indian Ricegrass

Indian Ricegrass

Indian ricegrass, Achnatherum hymenoides, a native perennial bunchgrass, was officially recognized as the Utah State Grass in 1990 (Utah Code). The Society for Range Management's Utah Section began campaigning for a state grass in the mid-1980s and after studying many species the field was narrowed to four candidates: Indian racegrass, bluebunch wheatgrass, galleta grass, and Great Basin wildrye. Indian ricegrass was then selected as the favorite. The state grass bill was introduced by Senator Alarik Myrin, a member of the Society, in 1989. It was also adopted as Nevada's state grass in 1977.

This grass is a fine addition to any xeriscape and will grow quite large if given the room. The open, spangled appearance when in flower or fruit is very attractive, especially in backlight. In the past, the grass was used as a food staple by the Indians especially when the corn crop failed. Seed of the ricegrass was gathered and ground into meal or flour and made into bread.

Indian ricegrass is also the state grass of Nevada and Oklahoma. Scientific name synonyms are: Oryzopsis hymenoides, Stipa hymenoides, and Eriocoma cuspidata. The USDA symbol is ACHY.

Utah's Indian Ricegrass

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