dcsimg

Comments

provided by eFloras
Xerophyllum tenax, variable in plant and flower size, is without evident geographic races (S. M. Maule 1959). Similar in most respects to X. asphodeloides but more robust, X. tenax typically has twice the number of flowers (F. H. Utech 1978c). The leaf fibers were used by native tribes for garments and decorative, watertight baskets. The bulbous rhizomes were roasted for several days before being eaten.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 26: 70, 71, 72, 185 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Description

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Stems (0.8–)1.2–1.8(–2) m. Leaf blade 2–8(–10) dm × 2–4(–6) mm. Racemes 5–7 dm. Tepals oblong to lanceolate, 6–9 × 2–3 mm; styles 4 mm. Capsules 5–7 mm. Seeds 4 per locule. 2n = 30.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 26: 70, 71, 72, 185 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
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Distribution

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Alta., B.C.; Calif., Idaho, Mont., Oreg., Wash., Wyo.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 26: 70, 71, 72, 185 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
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Flowering/Fruiting

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Flowering spring--early summer.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 26: 70, 71, 72, 185 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
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Habitat

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Open coniferous woods, dry ridges, rocky slopes, and clearings; 0--2300m.
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copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 26: 70, 71, 72, 185 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
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Synonym

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Helonias tenax Pursh, Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 243, plate 9. 1814; Xerophyllum douglasii S. Watson
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copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 26: 70, 71, 72, 185 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
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eFloras

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: cover, habitat type, scarification, series, severity, shrubs, wildfire

Fire severity in the Rocky Mountains: Historically, fires may have been
more frequent and less severe in Montana's relatively dry, open
subalpine fir/common beargrass habitat type and severe but infrequent in moist
subalpine areas [23]. In this habitat type common beargrass increases after
light broadcast fires but decreases after hot fires or scarification
[9]. After the Sundance wildfire in northern Idaho, common beargrass survived
on lightly burned areas. Increases in common beargrass cover began 3 to 10
years after the fire, with a maximum cover of 11 percent [84,83]. Where
fires encourage fire-dependent shrubs, common beargrass cover changes very
little once the shrubs become dominant [82]. Following a Montana
wildfire, common beargrass reached 2 to 3 percent cover in 10 years and
remained at that level regardless of other plant community changes [61].

Site differences in the Rocky Mountains: In the subalpine fir/common beargrass
habitat type, common beargrass increased after light broadcast burning, while
in the Douglas-fir/blue huckleberry (Vaccinium globulare) habitat type,
it decreased after light broadcast burning [9]. On colder sites in the
grand fir series in Montana, the cover of common beargrass can be much reduced
following fire [4]. After clearcutting and broadcast burning in the
grand fir/myrtle pachystima (Pachistima myrsinites) habitat type of
northern Idaho, common beargrass recovery may take up to 23 years [92].
Following severe fire on a subalpine fir/queencup beadlily (Clintonia
uniflora) habitat type, common beargrass cover and volume did not recover to
prefire levels during the first 9 postfire years [81].

Variability in common beargrass response on different sites is illustrated by a
Montana study comparing the results of different disturbances on several
habitat types. Data from 177 plots are summarized as percent
constancy/average canopy cover of common beargrass on three subalpine fir
habitat types [91]:

subalpine fir subalpine fir subalpine fir
/beadlily /menziesia /common beargrass

Wildfire: 47/15.3 88/18.8 93/27.2
Clearcut & burned with
slash dozer piled: 9/00.5 50/07.0 -----
Clearcut & burned with-
out slash piling: 50/07.5 50/00.5 -----
Old growth: 31/14.4 50/01.8 62/21.6
Snowchutes: 38/15.8 50/03.0 100/37.5
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Common Names

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
common beargrass
bear grass
bear-grass
Indian basket grass
Quip-Quip
soap-grass
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Cover Value

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More info for the term: cover

Common beargrass provides fair cover for small mammals but poor cover for small
nongame birds and upland game birds in Montana [27].
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Description

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: herb, rhizome

Common beargrass is a perennial, evergreen herb from the lily family with basal
leaves that form dense clumps or tussocks [81]. The linear leaves arise
from a short, woody rhizome and are scabrous, tough, and wiry [51]. If
pulled or stepped on, the grasslike leaves easily slide out of their
sheaths [58]. Any particular plant may not bloom for several years but
when it does it will produce a leafy flowering stalk that may be up to 6
feet (15 dm) tall with numerous small white flowers [51]. The sequence
of bloom is from the lowest flowers to the upper flowers resulting in a
knob of tight buds on top of the flower cluster [42].
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Distribution

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Common beargrass grows from British Columbia east to southwestern Alberta.
It extends south through the Coast Ranges and the west slope of the Sierra
Nevada to central California. It also extends south in the Rocky
Mountains into Idaho, Montana, and northwestern Wyoming [51,70].
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cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Fire Ecology

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: fire regime, rhizome

The primary fire adaptation of common beargrass is its ability to sprout from
rhizomes following fire. Common beargrass is a survivor species that is
present before a fire and regrows in place after the fire [84].

The meristematic region, or growing point, of a common beargrass rhizome is
restricted to the area of the leaf base on the upper surface of the
rhizome. Since this region is the only portion of the rhizome able to
produce new growth, it is critical to the plant's survival [15]. The
meristematic region often lies at or above the interface between organic
material and mineral soil where it may be damaged by duff-consuming
fires [15].

FIRE REGIMES :
Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this
species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under
"Find FIRE REGIMES".
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Fire Management Considerations

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: association, cover, duff, fuel, fuel loading, scarification, selection, tree

Fuel Loading: Brown and Marsden [16] have developed an equation to
estimate fuel loading of common beargrass, grass, and other grasslike plants
based on the relationship between plant height and ground cover.

West Coast Sites: In the Pacific silver fir and mountain hemlock zones
of the Oregon Cascades, scarification or burning following clearcutting
encourages the spread of snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus), common beargrass, and
long-stolon sedge [49]. On some Pacific silver fir, mountain hemlock,
and western white pine sites in central and southern Oregon, common beargrass
may be stimulated by fire or scarification and invade clearcuts where it
competes with tree seedlings [10,11,43,48]. In the coastal
tanoak/evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)-salal (Gaultheria
shallon) association, common beargrass can be an aggressive invader following
fire [12].

Rocky Mountain Sites: In the Rocky Mountains, clearcutting and burning
with fire hot enough to reduce duff will reduce common beargrass cover [5,9].
common beargrass does not appear to be as invasive in this area as in the
Northwest. If common beargrass is desirable, then shelterwood or selection
cuts are better for its growth than clearcutting and burning [56].

Prescribed Fire: In California, prescribed fires have been used to
provide young common beargrass shoots for Native American basket makers.
Experience with these fires has shown that a fire that consumes between
90 and 100 percent of dead common beargrass foliage and 75 to 95 percent of
live foliage will stimulate new growth [53]. Flame lengths between 0.75
and 3 feet (0.2-0.9 m) with a spread rate of 1 to 4 feet (0.3-1.2 m) per
minute will produce this consumption. Traditional burning took place in
the summer and early fall. Possible burning periods and prescription
details are given by Hunter [53].
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

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More info on this topic.

More info for the term: geophyte

Geophyte
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Habitat characteristics

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: association, cover, forest, herbaceous, mesic, serpentine soils, ultramafic soils, xeric

Common beargrass is widely found as a understory dominant in cool western
spruce-fir forests. It is also common under alpine larch (Larix
lyallii) and whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis)-subalpine fir stands on
cold, rocky sites at upper timberline [7,34]. It is less common below
the subalpine zone [56]. Common understory dominants growing with
common beargrass are huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.), grouse whortleberry
(Vaccinium scoparium), and sedges [22,18].

Rocky Mountain sites: At the northeastern limit of its range in
Waterton Park, common beargrass is found on moderate to steep south-facing
slopes on colluvial and morainal landforms with Engelmann spruce (Picea
engelmannii), subalpine fir, and whitebark pine [1,67]. Common beargrass is
dominant with menziesia (Menziesia ferruginea) in subalpine forests near
the border between the United States and Canada [19]. Although they
grow together, common beargrass favors more xeric conditions than does
menziesia [63]. In northern Idaho common beargrass grows predominantly on
ridges and the upper portions of slopes [22,69]. Pure stands of
common beargrass are found in treeless open parks with summer-dry soils on high
ridges and southerly slopes in northern Idaho and eastern Washington
[21]. In northern Idaho western redcedar (Thuja plicata) stands,
common beargrass is most common at higher elevations [40]. In Montana,
common beargrass may extend slightly from the forest into adjacent grasslands
[76].

West Coast sites: In the Coastal Mountains of Oregon, common beargrass is
found on steep sites on well-drained, frequently shallow, soils on
rugged, rocky topography near ridgetops [50]. It is often in areas with
active sheet erosion [50]. In the Oregon Cascades it may be dominant on
cold dry ridges and mountain tops from 4,700 to 5,800 feet (1,433-1,768
m) with soils that are poorly drained in spring and excessively well
drained in summer. These sites often show no sign of having been
previously forested, but this community could be a prolonged seral stage
[49]. While common beargrass grows on most sites in the western hemlock zone
of Oregon, Washington, and northern California, it has higher cover on
drier sites and grows well on talus or scree slopes [30,34,77]. In the
silver fir zone it does best toward the xeric end of the moisture
gradient [30]. Understories on relatively dry silver fir and mountain
hemlock sites may be depauperate with little growing besides common beargrass
and huckleberry [33,34]. In Oregon's subalpine fir zone it does best on
upper south slopes and ridges [34]. Common beargrass is common in the
mixed-evergreen and mixed-conifer zones on relatively cool, dry sites
under Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), grand fir, incense-cedar
(Libocedrus decurrens), sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), tanoak, golden
chinquapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla), and California black oak (Quercus
kelloggii) in southern Oregon, northern California, and the Siskiyou
Mountains [12,34,77]. In the pygmy forest region of California, it
grows in stands of Bishop pine (Pinus muricata) and Bolander pine (P.
bolanderi) [88]. Westman [88] considers common beargrass a heliophilic
(sun-loving) plant which does well on these relatively unproductive,
open sites.

Soils: common beargrass grows on a variety of soils and is able to grow well
on very shallow or rocky soils [30,43]. It does well on basaltic lava
flows in southern Washington but does not grow well on pumice [33,34].
On serpentine soils in the Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon and California,
common beargrass grows most vigorously on submesic to mesic sites, while on
olivine gabbro soils, it is found on xeric to subxeric sites [89]. In
the Siskiyous it is the most useful indicator of small serpentine
outcrops [89]. It may dominate the herbaceous layer on serpentine and
other ultramafic soils under Douglas-fir, western white pine,
Port-Orford-cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), Jeffrey pine (Pinus
jeffreyi), huckleberry oak (Quercus vaccinifolia), and, at higher
elevations, white fir (Abies concolor) [10,47,89,94]. In Montana it
often occurs in association with volcanic ash soils [71]. In the Garnet
Mountains of Montana, where common beargrass is prominent on soils formed from
granite and quartzite, essentially no common beargrass occurs on soils formed
from limestone [37]. In Montana growth is poor on gravel, sand, and
dense clay; fair on clay; and good on sandy loam, loam, and clay loam
[27]. Its growth is poor on organic, saline, sodic, and sodic-saline
soils but good on acidic soils [27].


Elevation: Elevational ranges in some western states are [27]:

Minimum Maximum
feet meters feet meters

Montana 5,000 1,524 8,800 2,682
Wyoming 7,200 2,195 7,200 2,195
California sea level 6,000 1,829
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Habitat: Cover Types

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More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

205 Mountain hemlock
206 Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir
207 Red fir
210 Interior Douglas-fir
211 White fir
212 Western larch
213 Grand fir
215 Western white pine
218 Lodgepole pine
226 Coastal true fir - hemlock
227 Western redcedar - western hemlock
228 Western redcedar
229 Pacific Douglas-fir
230 Douglas-fir - western hemlock
231 Port Orford-cedar
234 Douglas-fir - tanoak - Pacific madrone
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Habitat: Ecosystem

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More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES20 Douglas-fir
FRES21 Ponderosa pine
FRES22 Western white pine
FRES23 Fir - spruce
FRES24 Hemlock - Sitka spruce
FRES25 Larch
FRES26 Lodgepole pine
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Habitat: Plant Associations

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the term: forest

K003 Silver fir - Douglas-fir forest
K004 Fir - hemlock forest
K005 Mixed conifer forest
K007 Red fir forest
K008 Lodgepole pine - subalpine forest
K009 Pine - cypress forest
K012 Douglas-fir forest
K013 Cedar - hemlock - pine forest
K014 Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest
K015 Western spruce - fir forest
K029 California mixed evergreen forest
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Immediate Effect of Fire

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: duff, fuel, meristem, rhizome

Since the meristematic region of the rhizome usually is found near the
interface of organic horizons and mineral soil, common beargrass is quite
sensitive to fire [15,81]. If the basal leaves are moist, they may
protect the meristem to some extent, but if they are dry they can be an
added fuel source which increases the heat pulse at the base of the
rosette [15]. Generally, if the fire is light enough or if the duff is
moist enough for the duff layer to remain intact, the rhizomes will
survive. However, if severe fire removes most or all of the duff layer,
most common beargrass rhizomes will be killed [81].
license
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Common beargrass flower stalks are a delicacy for deer and elk and are eaten by
other big game animals as well [18,90]. Common beargrass foliage is of low
forage value. Elk eat common beargrass during early summer in Montana
[31,57,90]. Thick mats of common beargrass and sedge (Carex spp.) provide
excellent feeding sites for pocket gophers [48] and other rodents which
attract raptors [10]. Sometimes grizzly bears use common beargrass leaves as
nesting material in their winter dens [95].
license
cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Key Plant Community Associations

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: forest, habitat type

Within its range, common beargrass is often a dominant on upper slope sites
under subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), mountain hemlock (Tsuga
mertensiana), Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis), Shasta red fir (A.
shastensis), grand fir (A. grandis), western white pine (Pinus
monticola), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), and lodgepole pine
(Pinus contorta) [10,11,18,22,80]. In southern Oregon it is a useful
indicator of cool summer soil temperatures [65]. In the Cascade
Mountains of Oregon common beargrass is an indicator of cold and dry forest
sites [48,49]. The grand fir/common beargrass habitat type indicates the
cool-dry limits of the grand fir zone in Idaho [18,79]. Published
classification schemes listing common beargrass as an indicator species or a
dominant part of vegetation in habitat types (hts), community types
(cts), or plant associations (pas) are presented below:

Area Classification Authority

WY forest hts Alexander 1986

CA, OR: Siskiyou forest pas Atzet and Wheeler 1984
Mountain Province

sw OR: Siskiuou Region forest pas Atzet and others 1984

n ID forest hts, cts Cooper and others 1987

e Wa, n ID forest hts, cts Daubenmire and Daubenmire
1968

WA: Cedar River montane forest cts Del Moral and Long 1977
Drainage

OR: c Cascades forest pas, cts Dyrness and others 1974

Pacific Northwest general veg. pas Hall 1984

w OR forest pas Halverson and others 1986

OR: w Cascades forest hts, cts, pas Hawk 1979

OR: Willamette NF general veg. pas Hemstrom and others 1987

w OR forest pas Hemstrom and others 1982

WA: Mount Rainier NP forest hts, cts Moir and others 1976

MT forest hts Pfister and others 1977

e ID, w WY forest hts Steele and others 1983

c ID forest hts Steele and others 1981

c OR general veg. pas Volland 1985a
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Life Form

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the term: forb

Forb
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Management considerations

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: cover, forest, natural, presence, scarification, succession, tree

West Coast Sites: Common beargrass is very frost tolerant [43,48]. When
common beargrass is an understory dominant in the Pacific silver fir and
mountain hemlock zones of the Oregon Cascades, the site is usually very
frost-prone, often droughty, and frequently poor in nutrients [43,48].
Conifer regeneration is often difficult on these sites due to cold
subsurface soil temperatures, high surface temperatures after snowmelt,
rapid soil drying, common beargrass-sedge mats, pocket gophers, and a short
growing season with prolonged frosts [48,49]. Management suggestions
for these sites include using a shelterwood system, managing residual
Pacific silver fir, or providing other types of protection [48]. On
some Pacific silver fir, mountain hemlock and western white pine sites
in central and southern Oregon, common beargrass cover may be very dense (60 to
75%), which creates a serious planting barrier [10,30]. Clearcutting
and scarification in Oregon often produce areas with high densities of
common beargrass and sedge that provide good habitat for pocket gophers which
feed heavily on tree seedlings [48,49]. However, in an Oregon study of
an area with low common beargrass cover, common beargrass disappeared immediately
after logging and reappeared in trace amounts 4 years later [28]. On
partial cuts in southwestern Oregon mixed-conifer and mixed-evergreen
forest types, common beargrass presence indicates that good natural
regeneration is probable [38]. In many western hemlock and tanoak
(Lithocarpus densiflorus) associations of southwestern Oregon, common beargrass
indicates poorer (cooler, dry) sites [10].

Rocky Mountain sites: In eastern Washington, Idaho, and western
Montana, subalpine fir and mountain hemlock sites with common beargrass as an
understory dominant are often too droughty in the summer for Engelmann
spruce regeneration [22]. Common beargrass is generally a dominant on cool,
dry sites in the Rocky Mountains where both site preparation and shade
may be needed for prompt regeneration. Lodgepole pine is frequently
dominant in early succession on these sites [73,79]. Common beargrass
decreases sharply or may be lost completely after scarification on all
Montana habitat types because of mechanical damage to its rhizomes
[9,52]. Common beargrass may take 25 or more years to recover from
scarification [5,9].

Other Disturbance: Because of its tough, wiry leaves and tufted growth
form, common beargrass is tolerant of trampling [17].

Chemical Control: Common beargrass appears to be fairly resistant to many
herbicides [26,60]. Moderate control can be achieved with bromacil,
hexazinone, and terbacil, which are also associated with conifer
seedling mortality. Since common beargrass roots are deeper than those of most
conifer seedlings, common beargrass control may be less necessary than control
of other competitors, such as long-stolon sedge (Carex pensylvanica),
with shallow roots that compete directly with conifer seedling roots.
Detailed information about chemical control has been reported by Dimock
[26] and summarized by Miller and Kidd [64].
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bibliographic citation
Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Occurrence in North America

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CA ID MT OR WA WY AB BC
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Other uses and values

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Native Americans in the Rocky Mountain region traded this plant to
tribes from other areas. Eastern prairie tribes used the boiled roots
for hair tonic and as a treatment for sprains. Coastal tribes bleach
and dye the leaves for decorative designs woven into baskets [58] and
Southwest tribes use it in basketweaving. New common beargrass leaves produced
the first year after a fire are preferred for basket weaving because
they are stronger, thinner, and more pliable [53]. In recent years
florists have discovered that common beargrass leaves make sturdy long-lasting
greens, and some National Forests are issuing permits for common beargrass
harvesting [24]. Common beargrass rhizomes may be toxic to people [58].
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Palatability

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The relish and degree of use shown by livestock and wildlife species for
common beargrass in Montana is rated as poor for cattle, sheep, horses, elk,
mule deer, and white-tailed deer [27,35].
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Phenology

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More info for the terms: fruit, seed

common beargrass blooms in July in Wyoming. In Montana buds are formed by May,
and full bloom begins in July and ends in August [27]. In California
flowering is from May to August [70]. In southern Oregon flowering
begins in late June, bloom continues and fruit set begins in the first
weeks of July, with fruiting continuing into September [75]. In
Washington during 1974, common beargrass fruits were green on August 27. By
September 10, half the fruits were brown and by September 25 the fruit
was opening and shedding seed. On October 10 all the fruit was open
[96].
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Plant Response to Fire

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More info for the terms: cover, wildfire

The response of common beargrass to fire is quite variable [15]. Two important
factors in common beargrass recovery appear to be the impact of the fire on the
soil surface and the suitability of the site for common beargrass. Common beargrass
initially decreases after wildfire or relatively hot broadcast burns,
although changes in its cover are variable or slight after light burns
[9,48]. When slash fires in the Rocky Mountains destroy common beargrass
rhizomes, common beargrass is frequently unable to recolonize the burned site
quickly despite its normal ability to persist and thrive in openings
[86]. Common beargrass regrowth following fire in this area is often slow
[59,83,92]. However, in Oregon, while common beargrass rhizomes may be killed
by hot surface fires, common beargrass is likely to invade areas with exposed
soil [43].
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Post-fire Regeneration

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More info for the terms: herb, rhizome

Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Regeneration Processes

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More info for the terms: capsule, fruit, rhizome, seed, stratification

Colonies of common beargrass tend to bloom in 5- to 7-year cycles, possibly
when environmental conditions are right [58]. After fruit set, the
plants that bloom die. However, normal vegetative reproduction of
offshoots has already occurred [42]. The fruit is a small three-lobed
capsule containing several seeds [42]. Seeds are 0.16 inch (4 mm) long
and average about 830,000 per pound (1,830,150/kg) [70,78]. The seed
needs cold stratification for germination [78].

Vegetative reproduction is by offshoots of the rhizome [42]. Common beargrass
is usually considered to be long-lived because of its continual
production of offshoots [56]. Following disturbances, including mud
flows and debris slides, common beargrass sprouts from rhizomes [2]. When
buried in tephra, which forms a new surface horizon, common beargrass rhizomes
do not elongate and grow into the tephra. Instead the plant continues
to grow from the old rhizome for at least the first year [6].
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

1 Northern Pacific Border
2 Cascade Mountains
4 Sierra Mountains
8 Northern Rocky Mountains
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Successional Status

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More info for the terms: competition, cover, fire-resistant species, forest, frequency, shrubs, succession

Facultative Seral Species

common beargrass is moderately shade-tolerant [56,68]. It survives but seldom
blooms under a forest canopy. In forest openings it grows vigorously
and blooms profusely [22,42,50,58]. In the subalpine fir, silver fir,
and mountain hemlock zones of Oregon, common beargrass is a fire-resistant
species that becomes dominant in early succession [33,34]. In Rocky
Mountain forest stands with dense overstories, cover of common beargrass will
be reduced with time [59]. Following severe disturbance, common beargrass
seedlings may be abundant, but regrowth is slow [59]. Common beargrass appears
to be very sensitive to competition from shrubs following disturbance
[56]. Frequently, growth and cover of established common beargrass plants
declines for 2 to 8 years after canopy opening [56]. In the western
redcedar-western hemlock zone of Glacier Park, common beargrass has very high
frequency in early and mid-seral communities but becomes rare in old age
forests [39].
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Synonyms

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Xerophyllum douglasii
Helonias tenax
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Taxonomy

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The currently accepted scientific name of common beargrass is Xerophyllum tenax
(Pursh) Nutt. [54].
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

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More info for the terms: seed, stratification

In Montana common beargrass has potential for erosion control and long-term
revegetation, with high biomass production, good growth on gentle or
moderate slopes and fair growth on steep slopes [27]. Common beargrass seed
needs at least 12 to 16 weeks of cold stratification for germination;
seed germinates best in vermiculite. Further propagation details are
available [78].
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Crane, M. F. 1990. Xerophyllum tenax. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/

Xerophyllum tenax

provided by wikipedia EN

Xerophyllum tenax is a North American species of plants in the corn lily family.[1][2] It is known by several common names, including bear grass, soap grass, quip-quip, and Indian basket grass.[3]

Ecology

Xerophyllum tenax has flowers with six sepals and six stamens borne in a terminal raceme. The plant can grow to 15–150 cm in height. It grows in bunches with the leaves wrapped around and extending from a small stem at ground level. The leaves are 30–100 cm long and 2–6 mm wide, dull olive green with toothed edges. The slightly fragrant white flowers emerge from a tall stalk that bolts from the base. When the flowers are in bloom they are tightly packed at the tip of the stalk like an upright club. It produces small, tan coloured seeds that will germinate after a cold period of 12 to 16 weeks. The plant is found mostly in western North America from British Columbia south to California and east to Wyoming, in subalpine meadows and coastal mountains, and also on low ground in the California coastal fog belt as far south as Monterey County. It is common on the Olympic Peninsula and in the Cascades, northern Sierra Nevada and Rockies.[4][5][2]

Xerophyllum tenax is an important part of the fire ecology of regions where it is native. It has rhizomes which survive fire that clears dead and dying plant matter from the surface of the ground. The plant thrives with periodic burns and is often the first plant to sprout in a scorched area.

Its fibrous leaves, which turn from green to white as they dry, are tough, durable, and easily dyed and manipulated into tight waterproof weaves.[6]

Plant colonies typically only bloom every five to seven years.[7]

Deer and elk eat the flower and other parts of the plant.[8] Bears eat the softer leaf bases.[9]

Uses

The Hupa people use this plant to create a border pattern in baskets.[10][6]

This species has long been used by Native Americans who weave it in baskets, and historically, roasted the rootstock for food;[11] they also ate the pods, which are good cooked.[8] They also braid dried leaves and adorn them on traditional buckskin dresses and jewelry.[12][6]

References

  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ a b Calflora taxon report, University of California, Xerophyllum tenax (Pursh) Nutt. beargrass, common beargrass
  3. ^ United States Department of Agriculture Plants Profile: Xerophyllum tenax
  4. ^ Flora of North America, Profile and map: Xerophyllum tenax
  5. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  6. ^ a b c Plants for a Future, Xerophyllum tenax - (Purs.)Nutt.
  7. ^ "SPECIES: Xerophyllum tenax". US Forest Service. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  8. ^ a b Reiner, Ralph E. (1969). Introducing the Flowering Beauty of Glacier National Park and the Majestic High Rockies. Glacier Park, Inc. p. 4.
  9. ^ Fagan, Damian (2019). Wildflowers of Oregon: A Field Guide to Over 400 Wildflowers, Trees, and Shrubs of the Coast, Cascades, and High Desert. Guilford, CT: FalconGuides. p. 61. ISBN 1-4930-3633-5. OCLC 1073035766.
  10. ^ Murphey, Edith Van Allen 1990 Indian Uses of Native Plants. Glenwood, Ill. Meyerbooks. Originally published in 1959 (p. 2)
  11. ^ Whitney, Stephen (1985). Western Forests (The Audubon Society Nature Guides). New York: Knopf. p. 553. ISBN 0-394-73127-1.
  12. ^ Campbell, Paul Douglas 1999 Survival Skills of Native California. Gibbs Smith (p. 209)

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Xerophyllum tenax: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Xerophyllum tenax is a North American species of plants in the corn lily family. It is known by several common names, including bear grass, soap grass, quip-quip, and Indian basket grass.

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