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Western wheatgrass

Gramineae, Poaceae Agropyron smithii Rydb.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

Western wheatgrass is a perennial and sod-forming grass, native to most parts of the United States except the humid southeast. It is a dominant species in the Central and Northern Great Plains. Plant growth is vigorous, reaching 2 to 3 feet in height. Leaves are up to 12 inches long, 0.25 inch wide, rather stiff and erect. The whole plant is covered with a grayish bloom. It thrives best on rather heavy soil, but is adapted to a wide range of soil types, including alkaline soil. Both as pasturage and when cut for hay while still succulent, it is relished by all classes of livestock. The plants are usually grown from seed, but spread from underground rhizomes to form dense sods. This is a very valuable grass, both for feed and for erosion control.

Last update June 27, 1996 bha