Nassella tenuissima, commonly called Mexican feathergrass, is a finely textured, clumping, perennial grass native to open, rocky scrublands and woods on slopes and plateaus of the mountainous Trans-Pecos region of Texas west to southern New Mexico and south into central Mexico. There is also a disjunct native population in Argentina and Chile. Mature clumps can reach 1-2' tall with an equal width. The light green leaves are very fine and upright. The foliage turns golden brown in winter. In summer, wispy, upright to gently arching panicles bear small, silvery yellow spikelets. The mature fruits have a thin, light brown terminal bristle that can reach 2-4" long, creating a feather-like appearance. Synonymous with Stipa tenuissima.
Best grown in evenly moist to dry, well-draining, sandy, rich loams in full sun to partial shade. Tolerant of rocky and clayey soils as long as they are not overly moist. Tolerant of drought once established. Plants may go dormant during periods of summer drought. Cut the foliage back in late winter before new growth emerges in spring. It will readily spread by seed given the right conditions. Hardy in Zones 7-10.
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Water: Low to Medium
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10
Origin: Texas, New Mexico, Mexico, Argentina