Stipa manicata

Photo: Eric Wrubel/NPS

Synonyms: Nassella manicata (Desv.) Barkworth; Nassella formicarum auct. non (Delile) BarkworthStipa formicarum Delile

Common names: Andean tussockgrass; tropical needlegrass

Stipa manicata (Andean tussockgrass) is a tufted perennial grass (family Poaceae) that is native to the western coast of South America and naturalized in northern California. It can grow relatively tall (<15 dm) and is distinguished from similar needlegrasses by its much smaller, ca. 3mm “seeds” (caryopses), hairless lemma (when mature), and a crown that is straight-sided and constricted at its base. Based on field observations, Stipa manicata (accepted name is Nasella manicata in Flora of North America) can outcompete native grasses in grasslands where there is some sustained moisture and increases fuel loads.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited?

CDFA Rating: None?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed Management Notes

No Weed RIC Management Notes are available for this species. Check for information on other species in the genus on the Weed RIC site.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

There are no Symposium presentations associated with this species yet.

Other Stipa manicata Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Stipa manicata_seed_EricWrubel
    Stipa manicata (Andean tussockgrass) seed (left). Photo: Eric Wrubel