Pascopyrum smithii (Western wheatgrass)

Formerly Agropyron smithii. Cool season, strongly rhizomatous, long-lived perennial. Widely adapted; saline-tolerant and moderately drought tolerant. Tolerant of some flooding, heavy soils and cold. One of the best known and most common native grasses in North America, occurring in numerous types of native plant communities. May be replaced by Thickspike wheatgrass (Elymus lanceolatus ssp. lanceolatus) on coarser soils. Moderately palatable to livestock and wildlife. Varieties listed below.


Map Coming Soon.jpg


Family: Poaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Graminoid

Native Status: Native

Season: Cool

Growth Form: Rhizomatous, sod former

Mature Height: 24 in.

Annual Precipitation: 8-36 in.

Drought Tolerance: High

Shade Tolerance: Intolerant


Wetland Indicator Status: FAC

Fire Resistance: No

Fire Tolerance: High


Coarse Texture: No

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: High

CaCO3 Tolerance: High

pH Range: 4.5-9.0


Seeds per Pound: 113,800

Seeding Rate: 8-12 PLS lbs/acre

Season:  Spring/Fall

Days to Germination:


Arriba - Rapid seedling establishment with aggressive rhizomes. Produces dense medium height forage. Superior seed yielder. (Released 1973)

Barton - Collection from a clayey site. Strongly rhizomatous and leafy intermediate growth type, occurring between the northern and southern varieties. Superior forage and seed yields. (Released 1970)

Recovery - Establishes quicker and has greater seedling vigor than previous releases. Stands remain vigorous even 4-6 years after establishment. Especially useful on military land and arid rangelands having repeat disturbance or wildfire. Forage yields similar to other varieties. (Released 2009)

Rosana - Strongly rhizomatous native collection with excellent seedling vigor. Equal in forage yields to other varieties. Low seed dormancy aids in ease of establishment. (Released 1972)