Elymus wawawaiensis (Snake River wheatgrass)

Formerly thought to be an ecotype of Pseudoroegneria spicata ssp. spicata. Cool season, very drought tolerant, long-lived perennial bunchgrass. Very similar to Bluebunch wheatgrass in appearance, growth characteristics, and adaptation, but more drought tolerant. Widely adapted to the sagebrush steppe. Very palatable to livestock and wildlife, especially in the spring. However, heavy spring grazing is detrimental to vigor and longevity.

Map Coming Soon.jpg


Family: Poaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Graminoid

Native Status: Native

Season: Cool

Growth Form: Bunchgrass

Mature Height: 36 in.

Annual Precipitation: 5-16 in.

Drought Tolerance: High

Shade Tolerance: Intolerant

Elevation: up to 10,000 ft.

Wetland Indicator Status: FACU

Fire Resistance: No

Fire Tolerance: Medium


Coarse Texture: Yes

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: No

Salinity Tolerance: Low

CaCO3 Tolerance: High

pH Range: 6.0-8.4


Seeds per Pound: 120,000

Seeding Rate: 12-16 PLS lbs/acre

Season: Spring/Fall

Days to Germination:


Discovery - A multiple-origin cultivar developed for rangeland seedings. Intended to improve stand establishment when seeded during especially droughty years, as well as expand the usage of the species. (Released 2008, source of ecotype: WA & ID)

Secar - A low-elevation dryland ecotype with excellent drought tolerance and longevity. Matures early and produces numerous fine stems and leaves. Originally released as a variety of Bluebunch wheatgrass. (Released 1980, source of ecotype: Snake River gorge near Lewiston, Idaho)