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Plant - fall
Willow Lake
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Thinopyrum ponticum - tall wheatgrass

Synonyms: Elymus elongatus, Agropyron elongatum, Agropyron varnense

Other Common Names: rush wheatgrass

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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

Origin: Introduced    Season: Cool
Habitat Description: Widespread in foothills and forests. Tall wheatgrass is adapted to a wide range of soil types and climates. It is often recommended for 12-14 inch and higher precipitation zones or sites with high water tables.
Plant Communities: Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian
Elevation: Below 6000 feet

General Description

Desc: Tall wheatgrass is planted as forage on saline and sodic soils where few other species will survive. It is one of the most saline tolerant grasses commercially available. Wildlife: Tall wheatgrass provides nesting cover and food for upland birds.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Leaf Arrangement: Leaves basal and drooping  Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): Y  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: Greater than 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Unbranched  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Not determined

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelet Arrangement: All around branches
Awns: Absent   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Elongate with blunt glumes, one spikelet at each node. Stems robust; 35–75 cm long. Spikelets comprising 5–18 fertile florets; with diminished florets at the apex. Spikelets elliptic to oblong, laterally compressed, 12–25 mm long.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Convolute  
Blade Notes: Blades 8-18 inches long; 2.5–5 mm wide; stiff. Leaf-blade surface ribbed. The blades are often covered with short, stiff hairs making them scratchy to the touch.
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 fringed with hairs on the margins; auricles 0.2-1.5 mm; ligules 0.3-1.5 mm.

Forage Value: Good. Tall wheatgrass is most palatable during the early spring months and should be managed during this time. If not, old coarse growth may inhibit grazing the following year. It must be grazed heavily to maintain plants in the vegetative state.

  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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