|Also known as Stipa speciosum, this species in the grass family have narrow grasslike foliage, with leaf veins typically parallel to one another, and the leaf margins are most often smooth. With a few exceptions, such as bamboo, most grasses are herbaceous, meaning they do not develop woody tissues. Roots of grasses form a fibrous mass and enable the plant to survive long-term dry periods. Stems are composed of solids joints, called nodes, serparated by segments called internodes. Nodes are the points of attachment for leaves. Flowers, and later seeds, are borne in spikes, racemes or panicles, on a central stem. Grasses spread horizontally by stolons or rhizomes, and reproduce by seed as well. Fertilizing ornamental grasses can result in over-lush growth and unmanageability.
Achnatherum speciosum can survive with 5 to 10 inches annual rainfall. Extremely fine foliage forms basal clumps that turn from gray-green in spring and summer, to rich tans and light browns in winter. Narrow flower panicles form in spring and remain fluffy into summer.