A deep-rooted, long-lived,
native bunchgrass that occurs generally on the western ranges and most
abundantly on the sandy soils of the Northern Great Plains. It grows
in almost pure stands as an invader on some of the abandoned croplands
of the Plains. It derives its name from the appearance of the seed,
which is sharp-pointed and has a long, bent, twisted, threadlike awn
that looks like a threaded sewing needle.