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Colusa grass
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Chloridoideae
Tribe: Cynodonteae
Subtribe: Orcuttiinae
Genus: Neostapfia
Burtt Davy
Species: N. colusana
Binomial name
Neostapfia colusana
Burtt Davy [1]
  • Stapfia Burtt Davy 1898, illegitimate name not Chodat 1897 (a green alga in family Tetrasporaceae)
  • Davyella Hack.
  • Stapfia colusana Burtt Davy
  • Anthochloa colusana (Burtt Davy) Scribn.
  • Davyella colusana (Burtt Davy) Hack.

Neostapfia is a genus of endemic Californian bunchgrasses, in the Chloridoideae subfamily of the Poaceae (grass) family. [3] [1][4][5][6] The only known species is Neostapfia colusana, with the common name Colusa grass.[1]


Neostapfia colusana is endemic to the Central Valley of California, in the northern section's Sacramento Valley and in the southern section's San Joaquin Valley. [1] The bunchgrass grows in vernal pools, which are seasonal shallow freshwater ponds.

It is native to the Central Valley counties of Glenn, Colusa, Yolo, Solano, Stanislaus, and Merced. [7] [8]

This rare grass is a federally listed threatened species in the United States.[9] [3]


Neostapfia colusana is a clumping bunchgrass with distinctive cylindrical inflorescences covered in flat spikelets.

The inflorescences are said to resemble tiny ears of corn. They fruit in grains covered in a gluey secretion, and when a plant is mature each clump becomes brown and sticky with the exudate.

The genus was named for the botanist Otto Stapf.


The plant is limited to vernal pool habitats, a type of ecosystem which is increasingly rare as Central Valley land is consumed by development and agriculture, and damaged by flood control regimes and other alterations of hydrology.[10]


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