Feather grass (Stipa; Ukrainian: kovyla). A genus of perennials of the grass family, 30–100 cm high. Feather grass is one of the basic steppe plants. In Ukraine there are eight species that are widespread in the steppe and somewhat less common in the forest-steppe. The most common are hairy feather grass or tyrsa (S. capillata); and feathery or silky grass species such as John's grass (S. joannis), which is found mostly in the forest-steppe; Lessing grass (S. Lessingiana); narrow-leaved feather grass (S. stenophylla); and Ukrainian feather grass (S. ucrainica). Young feather grass is good feed for domestic animals, while old feather grass is rough and hardly edible.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]