The pasto duro is largely composed of the genera Stipa and Melica.
Here we find open plant associations of Haifa or Esparto Grass (Stipa lenacissima) alternating with steppes of Chih (Artemisia herba-alba); and each plant association extends for several scores of miles.
The colouring of the steppe changes as if by magic, and only the silvery plumes of the steppe-grass (Stipa pennata) wave in the wind, tinting the steppe a bright yellow.
The prairies are superseded by wheat-fields, and flocks of sheep destroy the true steppe-grass (Stipa pennata).
In the loftiest regions the pasture chiefly consists of a coarse grass (Stipa ychu), of which the llamas eat the upper blades and the sheep browse on the tender shoots beneath.
The dried dung of the llama (taquia) is generally used as fuel, as in pre-Spanish times, for roasting ores, as also a species of grass called ichu (Stipa incana), and a singular woody fungus, called yareta (Azorella umbellifera), found growing on the rocks at elevations exceeding 12,000 ft.
ESPARTO, or Spanish Grass, Stipa tenacissima, a grass resembling the ornamental feather-grass of gardens.
Of the best hay and pasture grasses, Agropyrum Elymus, Stipa, Bromus, Agrostis, Calamagrostes and Poa, there are 59 species.
- Spikelet of Stipa pennata.
Three must be considered: (I) the scutellum, connected by vascular tissue with the vascular cylinder of the main axis of the embryo which it more or less envelops; it never leaves the seed, serving merely to prepare and absorb the food-stuff in the endosperm; (2) the cellular outgrowth of the axis, the epiblast, small and inconspicuous as in wheat, or larger as in Stipa; (3) the pileole or germ-sheath, arising on the same side of the axis and above the scutellum, enveloping the plumule in the seed and appearing above ground as a generally colourless sheath from the apex of which the plumule ultimately breaks (fig.
The awn which is frequently borne on the flowering glume is also a very efficient means of distribution, catching into fur of animals or plumage of birds, or as often in Stipa (fig.
In Stipa, species of Avena, Heteropogon and others the base of the glume forms a sharp point which will easily penetrate the ground; above the point are short stiff upwardly pointing hairs which oppose its withdrawal.
Aristida and Stipa are large and widely distributed genera, occurring especially on open plains and steppes; the conspicuously awned persistent flowering glume forms an efficient means of dispersing the grain.
Stipa pennata is a characteristic species of the Russian steppes.