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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Poales

Familia: Poaceae
Subfamilia: Pooideae
Tribus: Stipeae
Genus: Nassella
Species: N. airoides – N. ancoraimensis – N. arcaensis – N. arcuata – N. arechavaletae – N. argentinensis – N. asperifolia – N. asplundii – N. ayacuchensis – N. bonariensis – N. brachychaetoides – N. brachyphylla – N. brasiliensis – N. burkartii – N. cabrerae – N. caespitosa – N. carettei – N. catamarcensis – N. cernua – N. chaparensis – N. charruana – N. chilensis – N. clarazii – N. coquimbensis – N. cordobensis – N. crassiflora – N. curamalalensis – N. curviseta – N. dasycarpa – N. depauperata – N. duriuscula – N. elata – N. entrerriensis – N. fabrisii – N. famatinensis – N. filiculmis – N. formicarum – N. fuscescens – N. gibba – N. gigantea – N. glabripoda – N. hirtifolia – N. holwayii – N. huallancaensis – N. hunzikeri – N. hyalina – N. ibarrensis – N. inconspicua – N. johnstonii – N. juergensii – N. juncea – N. karstenii – N. lachnophylla – N. laevissima – N. lepida – N. leptocoronata – N. leptothera – N. leucotricha – N. ligularis – N. linearifolia – N. longicoronata – N. longiglumis – N. macrathera – N. manicata – N. megapotamia – N. melanosperma – N. mexicana – N. meyeniana – N. meyeri – N. mucronata – N. nardoides – N. neesiana – N. nidulans – N. niduloides – N. novarae – N. nubicola – N. nutans – N. pampagrandensis – N. pampeana – N. paramilloensis – N. parodii – N. parva – N. pauciciliata – N. pfisteri – N. philippii – N. pittieri – N. planaltina – N. poeppigiana – N. pseudopampagrandensis – N. psittacorum – N. pubiflora – N. pulchra – N. punensis – N. pungens – N. quinqueciliata – N. ragonesei – N. rhizomata – N. rosengurttii – N. rupestris – N. sanluisensis – N. sellowiana – N. smithii – N. soukupii – N. spegazzinii – N. stuckertii – N. tenuiculmis – N. tenuis – N. tenuissima – N. torquata – N. trachyphylla – N. trichotoma – N. tucumana – N. uspallatensis – N. vallsii – N. vargasii – N. ventanicola – N. viridula – N. wurdackii – N. yaviensis
Name

Nassella (Trin.) E.Desv. in C.Gay, Fl. Chil. 6: 263 (1854)

Type species: Nassella trichotoma (Nees) Hack. & Arechav., Anales Mus. Nac. Montevideo 1: 336 (1896)

References

Desvaux, É-É. 1854. Flora Chilena 6: 263.
Cialdella, A.M., Sede, S.M., Romaschenko, K., Peterson, P.M., Soreng, R.J., Zuloaga, F.O. & Morrone, O. 2014. Phylogeny of Nassella (Stipeae, Pooideae, Poaceae) based on analyses of chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal DNA and morphology. Systematic Botany 39(3): 814-828. DOI: 10.1600/036364414X681419 PDF Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2013. Nassella in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Dec. 17. Reference page.
Simon, B.K., Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T., Vorontsova, M., Brake, I., Healy, D. & Alfonso, Y. 2013. GrassWorld, Nassella. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Dec. 17.
Tropicos.org 2013. Nassella. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Dec. 17.
International Plant Names Index. 2013. Nassella. Published online. Accessed: 17 Dec. 2013.

Vernacular names
English: Needle Grasses
Esperanto: Herbotufo

Nassella, or needlegrass, is a New World genus of over 100 perennial bunchgrasses found from North America through South America. The Latin word nassa refers to "a basket with a narrow neck".[1] It is usually considered segregate from the genus Stipa and includes many New World species formerly classified in that genus.[2] As of 2011, The Jepson Manual includes Nassella within Stipa.[3]

Nasella is characterized by strongly overlapping lemma margins and reduced, veinless paleae. The lemma tips are fused into the "crown", a short membrane that surrounds the base of the lemma. The rim of the crown usually has hairs.

Many species form both cross-pollinating and self-pollinating florets in the terminal panicle. The self-pollinating florets have 1–3 small anthers; the cross-pollinating florets have 3 longer anthers. Some species have self-pollinating inflorescences hidden in their basal leaf sheaths. These hidden inflorescences lack glumes and usually lack awns.

Diversity

As of 2001, there were about 116 species in this genus.[4]
California species

Nassella pulchra – purple needlegrass; currently reclassified as Stipa pulchra.

A native grass of California that was once a dominant species in California grasslands before invasive European grasses became dominant. The seeds were an important food source for many of the Indigenous peoples of California. Today, the bunchgrass is the State Grass of California and plays an important role in native grassland restoration and erosion control.[5]

Nassella lepida – foothill needlegrass; currently reclassified as Stipa lepida.

A native bunchgrass of California and Baja California.

Nassella cernua – nodding needlegrass; currently reclassified as Stipa cernua.

A native bunchgrass of California, Northwestern Mexico, and the Western United States.

Horticultural species

Nassella tenuissima – Mexican feathergrass.

An attractive, drought-tolerant bunchgrass with fine leaves and a narrow inflorescence that sways gracefully in the wind. However, it readily escapes from cultivation and takes hold in disturbed areas, natural areas, and in sidewalk cracks, driveways, and tree wells. It is an invasive species in California and Oregon.

Other species

Nassella charruana (Arechav.) Barkworth
Nassella chilensis – Chilean tussockgrass
Nassella crassiflora (Roseng. & B.R.Arrill.) Barkworth
Nassella hyalina – spear grass
Nassella ibarrensis
Nassella laevissima
Nassella leucotricha – Texas wintergrass
Nassella manicata – Andean tussockgrass, tropical needlegrass
Nassella neesiana – Uruguayan tussockgrass
Nassella rosengurttii (Chase) Barkworth
Nassella trichotoma – serrated tussockgrass, Yass River tussockgrass
Nassella viridula – green needlegrass

References

Nassella. The Jepson Manual.
Barkworth, M. E. Nassella E.Desv. Archived 2006-12-05 at the Wayback Machine Stipeae Pages. Intermountain Herbarium, Utah State University. June 13, 2003.
Stipa pulchra. The Jepson Manual.
Barkworth, M. E. and M. A. Torres. (2001). Distribution and diagnostic characters of Nassella (Poaceae: Stipeae). Taxon 50(2) Golden Jubilee Part 4, 439–68.
"History and Culture: State Insignia", California State Library, December 8, 2006.

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