Another pilot conversion project is the Arboretum meadow turf conversion at Shields Oak Grove. This project continues moving forward as well. Initial herbicide treatments took place last week just before the storms moved in. The next step will be a retrofit of the irrigation system, followed by seeding around November 15 with purple needlegrass, a native California grass. For more information about this low-maintenance, low-water, regionally-appropriate landscape conversion, read our previous article here.
Purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra) was once a dominant species in California grasslands before invasive grasses became dominant. The seeds of N. pulchra were an important food source for many California Indian tribes. Today, it is the ‘State Grass of California’ and plays an important role in native grassland restoration and erosion control. (Excerpt on purple needlegrass from Wikipedia.)