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Nevada State Grass
Indian Rye Grass
Adopted in 1977
Indian Rice Grass, Oryzopsis hymenoides, was adopted in 1977 as the Nevada State Grass. It was once a source of food for Native Nevada Indians. Indian Rice Grass now provides valuable feed for wildlife and range livestock. This tough native grass, which is found throughout the state, is known for its ability to reseed and establish itself on sites damaged by fire or over grazing.
It is drought-resistant, adapted to dry, sandy soils. The plant grows in dense clumps, up to 2 feet tall and are beautifully airy & a graceful accent in rock garden, or flower beds & a great sandy soil/meadow reclamation grass.
By June, it turns straw colored & remains this color until Winter rains renew its growth. Often found in flower markets, many people grow it specifically for cutting. The leaves are slender and nearly as long as the stems. It is highly palatable to livestock, both while green in summer and dried in winter. Natural stands in many areas have been greatly depleted by over grazing. This is an important species for reseeding range lands. Seeds were formerly used by Indians for
grinding into meal and making bread.
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