Achnatherum hymenoides - Indian Ricegrass

AKA Oryzopsis hymenoides

It is often said that it takes a real grass lover to appreciate the western native grasses. Not so with Indian ricegrass, because anyone who grows this to a full-size blooming clump can't help but snip those beautiful flowers for indoor arrangements. And let's not forget to mention the mesmerizing effect of the delicate panicles as they dance in the slightest breeze.

Yes, Indian ricegrass seeds are edible and tasty, not just to humans, but more importantly to birds and small mammals.

Indian ricegrass is particulary nice when used as an edging plant along property lines, but please note that it is a slow-grower.

Description: cool season; clump forming
Foliage - green; narrow; 45-60 cm (18-24") tall
Flowers - early spring; 60-75 cm (24-30") tall
Form - both flowers and leaves are upright and arching

Ideal growing conditions: open areas, sun or part shade, no excessive water, wide range of soil types

Zone: 3-9 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Partner with: Amsonia, Bouteloua, Buchloe dactyloides, Festuca arizonica

Suggested uses: containers, clumps, specimen, groups, drifts, border, edging

Recommended spacing between plants: 60-120cm (24-48") why such a difference?

Season of interest: late spring through winter

When to plant or divide: early to mid spring only; zones 7, 8 and 9 are okay for fall planting

Drought tolerance rating: 1 (water to root depth once a month); further info

Native to: western North America,

Pronunciation: Achnatherum (ack-NATH-er-um) hymenoides (hye-men-OY-deez)


More ornamental grasses

Compare Achnatherum hymenoides to our other grasses in this handy chart.



Achnatherum hymenoides -
Indian Ricegrass


Photo credit (left): Cassondra Skinner @

from the USDA website: states and provinces where
Achnatherum hymenoides is native


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