Cattle Ranges of the Southwest Page: 27 of 32
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abundance during the early spring months. The plant is eaten by
cattle and sheep, and the fleshy pods are greedily sought for and
devoured by hogs, which run at large il many of the counties of Texas
and New Mexico. In fact, where hogs run free on the ranges this plant
is being rapidly exterminated through its inability to ripen seed. It is
very highly spoken of by stockmen, coming at a later period than the
tallow weed, but before there is much grass. The forage is rich and is
relished by all kinds of stock. There are several closely related spe
6.-Needle grass (Aristida fasciculata).
cies, which are all equally useful, and an efibrt shlould be made to
prevent their complete exterinaltion, at least until something equally
good is found to take their places.
Needle grass (Aristidafasciculata) (fig. 6).-This grass has been looked
upon quite generally by botanists and people other than cattlemen as
very much of a nuisance. if not entirely worthless, but a careful inquiry
conducted among the cattlemlen shows that it is really one of the
most valuable of the native range grasses. It is true that this grass
is in some respects objectionable; the needles or ripe seeds and their
long three-parted beards are sharp and brittle and cause much inconv'elience
when eaten by cattle, piercing their tongues and mouths and
causing them to become sore. In the case of sheep the needles become
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Bentley, Henry Lewis. Cattle Ranges of the Southwest, book, 1898; Washington. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2412/m1/27/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .