Index | Search | Home

Alkali sacaton

Gramineae, Poaceae Sporobolus airoides (Torr.) Torr.


S. wrightii Munro ex. Scribn.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

Alkali sacaton is a native bunchgrass found from South Dakota west to Washington and south into Mexico. It is densely-tufted and long-lived, with erect, solid stems about 3 feet tall. Basal foliage is abundant, the leaves being up to 18 inches long and 0.25 inch wide. Roots are fibrous and deep-penetrating. The grass will grow on moist, alkaline soils, hence the name, but also occurs on other soil types. It is palatable while succulent but becomes tough and unpalatable when ripe. Hay is of fair quality if cut early. Propagation is by seed, which is usually harvested from native stands.

Sacaton is a more robust grower than alkali sacaton and is more southern in its range, being native from West Texas to Arizona and south into Mexico. The stems reach to 6 feet and are firm and bard. It is less drought resistant than alkali sacaton. It furnishes useful grazing both while succulent and in winter, and is useful for hay if cut while young. It is rarely planted but is a useful grass in its native range.

Last update July 1, 1996 bha