Form: Bunch grass, in small, widely spaced tufts. Its name comes from the 4- to 5-inch long twisted awn (a long needle-like projection extending from the fruit) which detaches from the seedhead with the seed and gives the appearance of a short needle and long thread.
Height: 1 to 3 feet
Seedhead: Loosely spreading and 4 to 8 inches long
Seeds: Seeds are long-lived; reproduces from seeds
Stems: Erect, unbranched stems
Leaves: Long, flat leaves 1 to12 inches long
Roots: Shallow-rooted to medium-rooted. Profusely branched roots grow both vertically and laterally.
Ecology: Prefers open sandy soil or sand dunes. Dormant in summer. Moderately to highly drought resistant.
Fire tolerance: Needle-and-thread grass can sprout following fire, if the heat has not been sufficient to kill the underground parts.