Bassia prostrata (Forage kochia)

Formerly Kochia prostrata. Also known as Prostrate summer cypress. Evergreen subshrub 1-3 ft. tall with small inconspicuous flower clusters, blooming July to September. Adapted to a wide range of soils from sands and gravels to clays and silts, including shallow infertile and highly saline or sodic sites; up to 7,500 ft. elevation. Not to be confused with its weedy distant relative Kochia (B. scoparia). Extremely drought tolerant, remaining green throughout the wildfire season. Exceptional fire resistance, able to suppress or stop approaching wildfires and is used for greenstrip firebreaks in cheatgrass infested ranges on arid sites of the Intermountain West. Competes well with cheatgrass and other aggressive weeds such as halogeton, Russian thistle and medusahead. Provides highly palatable and nutritious year-round forage and cover for livestock, wildlife and upland game birds.


Bassia prostrata  (Forage kochia).png


Family: Chenopodiaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Subshrub

Native Status: Introduced

Growth Form: Multiple stem

Mature Height: 12-15 in.

Bloom Color: 

Fruit/Seed Color:

Bloom Period: July-September

Annual Precipitation: 6-16 in.

Drought Tolerance: High

Shade Tolerance:

Elevation: 1,600-7,300 ft.

Wetland Indicator Status:

Fire Resistance: Medium

Fire Tolerance: Medium

Nitrogen fixation:


Coarse Texture: Yes

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: High

CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium

pH Range:


Seeds per Pound: 395,000

Seeding Rate: 2-3 PLS lbs/acre

Season: Fall/Winter

Days to Germination:


Immigrant - From 12-15 in. tall, released for forage and soil erosion control on rangelands in the Intermountain West due to its longevity, forage production, forage quality, palatability and competitiveness. Limited use for winter grazing during periods of deep snow cover due to short stature. (ssp. virescens, Released 1984)

Snowstorm - Up to 30 in. tall, released for its improved stature and ability to extend above snow level, allowing it to be browsed during fall and winter and improve winter range in the Intermountain West. Also higher forage production, leafiness, protein content and digestibility than Immigrant. (ssp. grisea, Released 2012)