Needle & Threadgrass

Needle & Threadgrass "bails" after custom field collection in a native southern utah stand.


A Little Bit About Us

Great Basin Seed has a proud heritage in the Intermountain West seed industry. Our family lineage and business heritage are directly linked to the beginnings of reclamation, revegetation and wildlife habitat improvement.


Great Basin Seed
450 South 50 East
Ephraim, UT 84627

Contact Info

435.283.1411 (Office)
435.283.6872 (Fax)

Questions? Gives us a call at 435.283.1411 Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm.

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Needle and Thread Grass (Hesperostipa comata) is a critical range species in the western US. It is a needlegrass with a very long, tangling beard. It is highly valuable for reclamation and range rehabilitation. It is a very important species after fire disturbance. This is a cool-season, full sun, perennial bunchgrass adaptable to many elevations and climates. It will grow to be 2 – 4 feet tall. This grass is found from British Columbia and the Yukon to Ontario, south to California, New Mexico and Texas.

Needle-and-Thread is very drought tolerant and prefers excessively drained sands to fine sandy loams to coarse gravelly loam soils, but is also found on loam to clay loam soils in some habitats. It is most commonly found in 7- 16 inch precipitation zones, but occasionally is found in areas receiving as low as 5- inches to as much as 24- inches mean annual precipitation. Its elevation range is most common from 3500 to 8500 feet, but it has been found at elevations as low as 1000 feet.

It’s quality as a grazing species is limited to the early stages of development because once it is developed the sharp seeds are injurious and can cause festering sorest to animals once they turn hard. It begins growth early in the spring, goes dormant in early to mid-summer and may green-up in fall if soil moisture is adequate. It is considered good forage in spring prior to awn development and again in fall after seed is dropped. When grazed while awned seeds are present, the sharp-pointed seed may injure livestock by working into tongue, throat, eyes and ears. It is desirable forage for elk in winter and spring and considered desirable forage for deer in spring.

Needle and Thread Grass is a very effective grass in preventing wind erosion on sandy soils. It is one of the first grasses to naturally establish in disturbed sandy sites. It can be used in seeding mixtures for revegetation of sandy sites and sites disturbed by mining activities.

This species has fairly high levels of seed dormancy. If seed is less than 2- years old, it should be planted in late fall as a dormant planting to assist with breaking the seed dormancy. Older seed can be planted in early spring. Seed should be planted about 3⁄4- inch deep on loamy soils, about 1⁄2- inch deep on clay soils and up to 1- inch deep on sandy soils.

Great Basin Seed is a major purveyor of native Needle and Threadgrass. We custom collect our seed from native stands in Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming.

Common Name:

Needle & Threadgrass

Scientific Name:

Old Scientific Name:

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Min. Precipitation

8 inches

Best SowingTime


Seed Count

115,000 seeds/lb.

Sowing Rate

10-14 PLS lbs. per Acre

Growth Season:

Sun & Shade Tolerance:

Full Sun, Shade Intolerant

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