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Tufted Hairgrass
Deschampsia cespitosa
About Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa) Nurseries Show All Photos Tufted Hair-grass or Tussock grass (Deschampsia cespitosa or Deschampsia caespitosa) is a wild plant from the grass family (Poaceae). Distribution of this grass species is widespread including the eastern and western extremes of North America, parts of South America and Eurasia. In California it is most commonly found in the central and northern portions of the state, including the Coast Ranges and Sierras. It is found in coastal prairie habitat and mountain meadows, along with other native grasses such as Fescues (Festuca spp.) and Needlegrass (Stipa spp.). It is most often found in moist to very wet areas such as freshwater or saltwater marsh, riparian areas, and woodland/forest habitats.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 ft (1 m)

Max. Width
3 ft (0.9 m)



Summer Semi-Deciduous

Flower Color

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Wet places, meadows, streambanks, marshes, coastal prairie or mountain meadows

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
-51' - 14460'

Annual Precip. ?
6.9" - 153.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 5.87"

Coldest Month ?
17.7° F - 51.1° F

Hottest Month ?
36.5° F - 78.5° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 28.14 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of sand and clay

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0

Fast, Medium, Slow, Standing

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Companion Plants
Use in moist locations with other native grasses, perennial herbs or annual wildflowers such as Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis), Sedges (Carex sp.), Rush (Juncus sp.), Monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis or guttatus), and Hedge Nettle (Stachys sp.)

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Low, Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
1/week, Keep moist
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
California Hairgrass, Tufted Hair-grass

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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