Feather Grass (stipa pennata, Willd.), a grass readily distinguishable by its elegant and feather-like awns. It grows in close, matted tufts, having very long, fine, wiry, dark green leaves, numerous tall flower stalks with small florets, succeeded by an abundance of sharp-pointed elliptical grains, each of which is surmounted by the feathered awn or bristle, a foot or more in length. This is of a rich bird-of-paradise color, and gives a remarkable beauty to the plant. Gerarde, a famous herbalist in 1597, informs us that these awned seeds were worn in his time by "sundry ladies instead of feathers." It is this species which is the principal grass in those portions of the steppes of Asia called the truva or pasturing grounds, growing in immense quantities, and developing its woody root stocks above the soil, much to the annoyance of the mower. The seeds of this beautiful grass are frequently imported from abroad and sold in our seed; shops, but they seldom vegetate.
Feather Grass (Stipa pennata).