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Granite Mtn - Tr 308
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Pascopyrum smithii - western wheatgrass

Synonyms: Agropyron molle, Agropyron smithii, Elymus smithii, Elytrigia smithii

Other Common Names: bluestem, bluestem wheatgrass

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Willow Lake
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Willow Lake
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Seedhead - summer
Willow Lake
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Willow Lake
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Cool
Habitat Description: On dry hills, sandy bottomlands, moist open ground, and open ponderosa pine forests.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 3000 - 8000 feet

General Description

Desc: Stiff tall grass,usually single or in small clusters from creeping rhizomes. Seedheads a tight spike. Often a distinct blue green color.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: Y  Stolons: N
Leaf Arrangement: Leaves along stems  Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 24 to 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Unbranched  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: May - Oct

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelet Arrangement: All around branches
Awns: Less than 1/4 inch   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Balanced spike 3 1/2-8 inches long. With spikelets overlapping like shingles on a roof.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or involute  
Blade Notes: Blades 4-10 inches, long 2-6 mm wide, upper surface furrowed with 7-14 ridges, tapering to a slender point, rough on top and smooth below.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): Y
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths smooth to rough, open at collar commonly with ear-like lobes at the collar (clasping auricles).

Forage Value: Good for all classes of livestock, fair for wildlife. Cures well, making good dormant season forage.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 3.1  
Last Updated: June 15, 2013  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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