Thinopyrum intermedium* (Intermediate wheatgrass)

Formerly known as Agropyron intermedium, or as Elytrigia intermedia ssp. intermedia. Cool season, robust, moderately drought tolerant sod-former, 2 to 4 ft. tall. Adapted to a wide variety of sites but does best on medium to fine textured soils. Generally good palatability to livestock and wildlife.

area of adaptation

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Family: Poaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Graminoid

Native Status: Introduced

Season: Cool

Growth Form: Rhizomatous

Mature Height: 24-48 in.

Annual Precipitation: 12-30 in.

Drought Tolerance: Medium

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: High

pH Range: 5.6-8.4


Seeds per Pound: 80,000

Seeding Rate: 10-15 PLS lbs/acre


Days to Germination:


Chief - Short term pasture and hayfields remain productive under heavy pressure for up to five years; longer under moderate to light pressure. (Released 1961, origin: former USSR and Oahe variety)

Clarke - Pasture and hay production. Drought tolerant, excellent seed producer. Higher yielding and winter-hardy than Chief; comparable to Greenleaf (Pubescent wheatgrass, T. intermedium ssp. barbulatum). (Released 1980, origin: former USSR)

Manifest - Improved tillering compared to Oahe, making it better for grazing. Superior longevity to other varieties. High forage yield and increased persistence under grazed conditions. Recommended for hayland and pastures in grass or grass-legume mixtures. (Released 2007, origin: Russia)

Oahe - High seed and forage producer, and good resistance to rust. A blue-green type with vigorous sod-forming capability. (Released 1961, source of ecotype: former USSR)

Reliant - Vigorous and winter hardy. Matures relatively late, weakly rhizomatous and is strongly resistant to leaf spot. Distinguished from other types by its upright growth habit. (Released 1991)

Rush - Good seedling emergence and vigor. Achieves greater stand density and height quicker than previous releases. Equal or higher forage production to Oahe. (Released 1994)