Agropyron desertorum (Standard crested wheatgrass)

Cool season, long-lived, drought tolerant and extremely cold tolerant, perennial bunchgrass. Adapted to a wide range of sites but is most productive on well-drained, medium textured soils. Similar to A. cristatum but is slightly more cold, shade and moisture tolerant. Also, plants are later maturing and slightly more productive. Good palatability to livestock when green. Introduced extensively throughout the West. Varieties listed below.


Agropyron desertorum (Standard crested wheatgrass) map.png


Family: Poaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Graminoid

Native Status: Introduced

Season: Cool

Growth Form: Bunchgrass

Mature Height:  24 in.

Annual Precipitation: 6-16 in.

Drought Tolerance: High

Shade Tolerance: Intolerant


Wetland Indicator Status:

Fire Resistance: No

Fire Tolerance: High


Coarse Texture: Yes

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: Medium

CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium

pH Range: 6.0-8.2


Seeds per Pound: 194,100

Seeding Rate: 5-10 PLS lbs/acre

Season: Fall

Days to Germination:


Hycrest - Hybrid between A. cristatum and A. desertorum. Taller, more robust than parental species. High forage yield, quick to develop. Better stand establishment, root development and seedling vigor than Nordan and Fairway varieties. (Released 1984, origin: Central Asia, former USSR)

Hycrest II - Improved seedling establishment and stand persistence under dryland conditions. Increased drought tolerance. (Released 2008, origin: from Hycrest variety)

Nordan - Good seedling vigor and forage producing abilities. Seed heads narrow and dense with short awns. (Released 1953, origin: Central Asia, former USSR)