Poaceae (Grass Family)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Western Wheatgrass is a 15-30 in., cool-season, sod-forming, perennial
grass. Its dense, narrow, 3-6 in. spikes occur at the top of stout culms. The entire
plant is often covered with a white coating, lending a silvery caste to its blue-green leaves. The leaves are less than a quarter inch wide and, when dry, roll up longitudinally to display prominent ridges on the tops.
This densely colonizing turf grass is commonly found in western North America in low-lying areas subject to seasonal poor drainage. During wet times, this grass becomes aggressive and can crowd out neighboring grasses and forbs. For this reason, and for its silvery blue-green leaves, Western Wheatgrass is favored for erosion control. It covers so thickly, however, that it is not the best choice for a wildflower meadow. It wont allow many other plants room.
Image Gallery: 3 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun
, WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Ont. to B.C., s. to KY, TX, AZ
& e. of the Cascades to n.e. CA Native Habitat:
Hillsides; bottomlands; canyons; open woods; prairies; scrubland. Often in swales and ditches with seasonal poor drainage.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist, alkaline clay, loam, sand.
Conditions Comments: Thrives in seasonal poor drainage and high-rainfall years, when it can become aggressive enough to crowd out many other grasses and forbs.
BenefitUse Ornamental: A blue-green turf grass that can be mowed
Use Other: Widely used for erosion control