What is the plant
Xerophyllum tenax is a North American species of plants in the corn lily family. It is known by several common names, including bear grass, squaw grass, soap grass, quip-quip, and Indian basket grass. Xerophyllum tenax has flowers with six tepals and six stamens borne in a terminal raceme. The plant can grow to 15-150 cm in height. It grows in bunches with the leaves wrapped around and extending from a small stem at ground level. The leaves are 30-100 cm long and 2-6 mm wide, dull olive green with toothed edges. The slightly fragrant white flowers emerge from a tall stalk that bolts from the base. When the flowers are in bloom they are tightly packed at the tip of the stalk like an upright club. The plant is found mostly in western North America from British Columbia south to California and east to Wyoming, in subalpine meadows and coastal mountains, and also on low ground in the California coastal fog belt as far south as Monterey County. It is common on the Olympic Peninsula and in the Cascades, northern Sierra Nevada and Rockies.
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