Achnatherum robustum

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Sleepy grass
Achnatherum robustum (as Stipa vaseyi) LS-1899.png
Line drawing of Achnatherum robustum from Lamson-Scribner's American grasses (illustrated), 1899
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Achnatherum
Species: A. robustum
Binomial name
Achnatherum robustum
(Vasey) Barkworth[1]

Achnatherum robustum, commonly known as sleepy grass, (synonyms Stipa robusta, also Stipa vaseyi subsp. robusta) is a perennial plant in the Poaceae or grass family.

It grows on dry soil in the U.S. Midwest, ranging from South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico to Texas and Arizona and Hawaii.

Sleepy grass plants harboring a fungal species (of the genus Neotyphodium), contain ergoline compounds, such as lysergic acid amide (common name, ergine). These compounds appear to be responsible for the sedative effects on mammals when they ingest the infected grass.[2]


  1. ^ USDA; NRCS (2007). "The PLANTS Database". National Plant Data Center. Archived from the original on 11 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  2. ^ Petroski, RJ; Powell, RG; Clay, K (1992). "Alkaloids of Stipa robusta (sleepygrass) infected with an Acremonium endophyte". Natural toxins. 1 (2): 84–8. doi:10.1002/nt.2620010205. PMID 1344912. 

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