Xerophyllum tenax


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Family: Melanthiaceae

Bear grass, squaw grass, soap grass, quip-quip, and Indian basket grass.

Plants grow 15-150 cm, grow in bunches with the leaves wrapped around and extending from a small stem at ground level. The slightly fragrant white flowers emerge from a tall stalk that bolts from the base. The plant is found mostly in western North America Important part of the fire ecology of regions where it is native. It has rhizomes that survive the fire that clears dead and dying plant matter from the surface of the ground. The plant thrives with periodic burns and is often the first plant to sprout in a scorched area. The plant prefers rocky, fast-draining soil, part shade to full sun, in open, coniferous forest habitat. Braid dried leaves and adorn them on traditional buckskin dresses and jewelry and for making baskets too.

Sow in fall or early spring.  Requires 12 to 16 weeks of cold stratification.  Grow out in a gallon pot for a year before transplanting.

Additional information


30 seeds


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