Elymus trachycaulus ssp. trachycaulus (Slender wheatgrass)

Formerly known as Agropyron trachycaulum. Cool season, saline tolerant, short-lived, perennial bunch grass with very short rhizomes. Adapted to a wide range of sites and is moderately drought tolerant. The fastest establishing of all the native wheatgrasses. Good palatability to both livestock and wildlife. Useful where quick, native, perennial cover is desired.

native distribution

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Family: Poaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Graminoid

Native Status: Native

Season: Cool

Growth Form: Bunchgrass

Mature Height: 36 in.

Annual Precipitation: 8-25 in.

Drought Tolerance: High

Shade Tolerance: Intolerant


Wetland Indicator Status:

Fire Resistance: No

Fire Tolerance: High


Coarse Texture: No

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: Medium

CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium

pH Range: 5.6-9.0


Seeds per Pound: 135,000

Seeding Rate: 6-10 PLS lbs/acre

Season: Spring/Fall

Days to Germination:



Copperhead - Developed from collections on acid and heavy-metal impacted sites. Excellent for mine reclamation or other areas with contaminates such as sediment ponds. (Released 2007, source of ecotype: Beaverhead County, MT)

FirstStrike - Selected for persistence and seedling vigor in response to drought during the establishment year. Taller than San Luis; shorter than Pryor. Germinates earlier than Pryor. (Released 2006, source of ecotype: CO & WY)

Pryor - Superior to other varieties in salt and drought tolerance. A cold hardy variety which persists 3-5 years. (Released 1988, source of ecotype: Pryor Mountains, MT)

Revenue - Superior to Primar in establishment, salinity tolerance, forage and seed yield. Normally persists 3-5 years. (Released 1970, source of ecotype: Saskatchewan, Canada)

San Luis - Longer seed heads, taller growth than most strains. Moderately tolerant of alkaline soils. A longer-lived variety which persists 5-10 years. (Released 1984, source of ecotype: Rio Grand County, CO)