Bear Grass (Xerophyllum tenax)


Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.  – Genesis 1: 11-12 (NLT)

During the Lewis-Clark expedition of 1806, Lewis wrote: “There is a great abundance of a species of bear-grass which grows on every part of these mountains. Its growth is luxouriant and continues green all winter but the horses will not eat it.” This species was long used by Native Americans who used the leaves to make watertight baskets. The leaves were also bleached and used to make hats and capes. Grated roots became a poultice for wounds and burns.

I took this photo in central Oregon, where Bear Grass grows in open fields and wooded areas.


4 thoughts on “Bear Grass (Xerophyllum tenax)

  1. Wonderful image. I love the bokeh and the way you’ve cropped the grass at the top; it gives the image a sense of infinity or endlessness. Which is quite appropriate considering the two quotations you’ve given.

    Thanks for the kind comments on my images. Coincidentally, I had just ‘rediscovered’ your blog a few days ago as well!

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