Stipa Cernua

Stipa Cernua

Common Name:

California Needlegrass, Nodding Stipa, Nodding Needlegrass

Stipa Cernua

Stipa cernua, an introduced grass native to California, can be found growing around the Visitor Information Station (VIS) on Maunakea. Stipa cernua is a very drought tolerant grass, used by some landscapers on the Mainland in xeriscape installations. It is said that Native Americans in California used to burn Stipa cernua in the mountains to facilitate its regrowth of tender young shoots which they then harvested and ate.

Saturday Night Programs

In addition to our nightly stargazing we host regular Saturday Programs @ MKVIS.

Free Nightly Stargazing

FREE Nightly Stargazing & Star Tours

Open to everyone! Every night of the year from 6pm - 10pm MKVIS conducts star tours and operates several telescopes for public viewing by our knowledgeable guides.
Learn More about our Stargazing Program »


Tax-deductible donations allow MKVIS to make all of these free programs possible, including our telescopes!
Make a donation »

Volunteer Program

Learn about astronomy and Mauna Kea as a volunteer. No experience required.
Volunteer Positions at MKVIS »

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MKVIS Hours: 9am - 10pm every day.

Current road conditions - call (808)935-6268