<%@ Language=JavaScript %> Wildflowers of the Northwest -- Bear-grass
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Latin Name:

Xerophyllum tenax

Common Name(s):

Bear-grass, Indian Basket Grass, Elk-grass, Basket-grass, Squaw Grass, Turkey Beard

Family Name:



2-4 feet

Flower Size:

Extremely long, up to 3 feet

Flower Shape:

Elongated Cluster


White/Cream ()


Large showy snow-cone like balls of small creamy white flowers. Basal leaves are grass like. Flowers are saucer shaped, fragrant, and arranged in a dense rounded cluster atop a long stalk.


Bear-grass is extremely tasty -- bears love its tender roots and young leaves, the mountain goat loves is stiff basal leaves, and everything else is munched on by rodents and browsing animals. Bear-grass frequents ski-slopes during the summer. Northwest Indians dried and bleached Bear-grass for weaving.


Open, dry areas from near sea level all the way to subalpine. More common at higher elevations.

Blooming Season:


Related Flowers:

Camas, Hellebores, Solomon Plume, False Lily-of-the-valley

Similar Flowers:


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