A tufted, warm-season native grass with distinctive caterpillar-like seed spikes which hang from one side of each flowering stem. Native to prairies, plains, open rocky woodlands and along railroad tracks throughout the Western U.S., this was a dominant grass of the dry shortgrass prairies. Narrow, bluish-gray leaf blades form a dense clump 12-15″ tall. Foliage turns golden brown, orange and red in autumn. Inflorescences of purplish-tinged flowers appear on arching stems above the foliage in early to mid summer, bringing the total height of the clump to 20″ tall.