Source: Magness et al. 1971
This grass is native from the Great Lakes westward to the Cascade Mountains and south into Mexico. It is a perennial bunchgrass with erect stems up to 24 inches tall. It develops tillers at the base and rarely produces short rhizomes. Leaves are mainly basal, are rather firm and stiff. They are folded or inrolled, rarely flat. The species grows under a wide range of conditions including elevations to near the top of the Rocky Mountains. It is also found among sagebrush and in open timber stands. It is well adapted to dry slopes and is found on clay loam as well as sandy or gravelly soils. It is drought resistant, palatable and nutritious, and starts growth very early. Even the dry growth is grazed well. These characteristics make it a valuable range crrass. The name reflects the value sheepmen place on the grass for sheep feed.