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Mexican Feather Grass

Mexican Feather Grass is a graceful short growing ornamental grass.

Mexican Feathergrass

Nassella tenuissima

Common Names: Silky Thread Grass, Mexican Needle Grass, Pony Tails

Light: Full Sun/Part Shade

Height: 1′ – 3′

Spacing/Spread: 1′ – 3′

Evergreen: No, plant is deciduous.

Color: Brown/Cream seed heades.

Interest: Spring.

Landscape Companions:

Texas Native: Yes, plant is Texas native.


Wildlife habitat:

Features: A low maintenance low growing ornamental grass. Texas native. Drought tolerant. Full sun/Part shade.

Austin Native Landscaping: “Mexican Feather Grass is a graceful short growing ornamental grass. Don’t let this gentle Texas native to confuse you: It is hard as nails, fuss free and requires very modest amounts of watering. We love designing Mexican Feathergrass in our xeriscape flowerbeds  with other plants that will complement or contrast it’s elegant and soft form. Especially beautiful when planted a mass with some large specimen agaves. A wonderful choice for Austin xeriscape landscapers.”



Family: Poaceae (Pronounced – poh-AY-see-ee)

Genus: Stipa (Pronounced –STEE-pa)

Species: Tenuissima (Pronounced –ten-yoo-ISS-ee-muh)

Propagation: Seeds, root ball division.



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Posted by Reed

  1. […] We are starting to create individual Texas native plants profiles and today we will put the spotlight on Mexican Feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima). […]

  2. […] when scattered about with agaves in the background. We chose two different kinds: Gulf Muhly, and Mexican Feathergrass. They look similar yet different in some properties; Mexican Feathergrass tends to be a foot […]

  3. Do you have the Mexican Feather Grass in stock, and if so is it available for shipment. I am in NC, so what would be the cost for about six plants.

  4. Beware the highly combustible, inedible and invasive “pale yellow storm” that is this plant.

    This is only native to a small region of the US (mountains in west TX/eastern NM). The USDA has some contentious information, listing California and Texas under its native distribution. CalFlora, a more credible source, in my opinion, finds this in error. Personally, I think it’s introduced historically throughout the US, but I can’t back that statement up. No one can.

    Otherwise it’s also native to Chilean and Argentinian grasslands. But escapes the garden very easily, inside and outside its native range (in CA, southern Europe and in Australia, where it is predicted to cost 39 million in agricultural losses over the next 60 years – that’s just Austrailia). When ingested by livestock, it forms indigestible balls to cordage, and it’s not very friendly to areas that need to fight fire during drought season – so use with caution. It may be native to part of TX, but it’s so problematic, that you may want to leave it in the mountains (600 m+).


    http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=NATE3 (the county by county map isn’t functioning)
    And for a crazy look at how mad people get over justifying the use of invasive plants, read the comments here, where one Texan calls it Obama Grass: