Native Grass

Junegrass

Junegrass is a widely distributed, long-lived, strongly-tufted, cool season, native perennial bunchgrass. It is considered an early- to mid-successional species and can be co-dominant in some late successional plant communities. It tends to increase with overgrazing. Junegrass is a highly variable species, adapting to various environmental conditions with different growth forms. For example, there are variations in hairiness or hairlessness, and on drier sites, plants are shorter with more basal leaves.

Pinegrass

Pinegrass is a native perennial adapted to dry woodlands and open slopes. This grass is erect, tufted, and often forms complete ground cover.

The root system forms fibrous roots and long, extensive, creeping rhizomes. Extensive roots form thick sod, therefore making pinegrass an important soil protection species.

Fringe Bromegrass

Fringed bromegrass is a tall, loosely tufted, cool season, perennial native bunchgrass. It is effective for erosion control and valued in revegetation mixes for disturbed sites. This species is also very palatable for both ungulate wildlife and livestock throughout the growing season.

Fringed bromegrass is a bunchgrass with fibrous roots.

Stems grow to 60 to 100 cm (24 to 39 in.) tall, frequently with hairy nodes. Leaves are dark green, 10 cm (4 in.) wide and hairy at least on one side. The veining is prominent on both sides of the leaf. No auricles. 

Big Bluegrass

Big bluegrass is a native, cool season, long-lived, perennial bunchgrass that matures early in the growing season. It is part of what is referred to as the Sandberg bluegrass complex, which includes 8 species, including big bluegrass, Canby bluegrass, slender bluegrass, Alkali bluegrass, Nevada bluegrass, Sandberg bluegrass, and pine bluegrass. The differentiating characteristics within this complex of species often vary with environmental factors, making distinguishing amongst them very difficult.

Fowl Bluegrass

Fowl bluegrass is a loosely tufted, low growing, native, cool season, perennial bunchgrass. It is commonly a minor component in native grass seed mixes. It has fibrous roots and a tufted bunchgrass growth habit, but can form a weak sod. It grows 40 to 122 cm (16 to 48 in.) tall. Stems are erect, purplish, and curved at the base. The leaves are greenish, flat or folded, and 1.5 to 3 mm wide with boat or keel-shaped tips. The tiny flowers of fowl bluegrass are produced in mid-spring and are yellow.

Reed Canarygrass

Reed canarygrass is a well-adapted, long-lived, cool season, perennial native grass. It grows well in wet areas but also can tolerate some drier areas.

Extensive sod-forming root systems are produced by crowns below the soil surface. The plant may appear to be bunched but actually produces large diameter, short rhizomes, which in turn produce new shoots and roots.

Stems are coarse and erect, growing up to 200 cm (79 in.) tall. Leaves are pale green, large, flat, and wide up to 20 mm (3/4 in.) wide.

Idaho Fescue

Idaho fescue is a densely tufted, native perennial bunchgrass. It is an important component of late successional upper grassland plant communities in southern British Columbia, and is common throughout the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The recognition of Idaho fescue as separate species is questioned by some authors, who consider it a variety of Festuca occidentalis (western fescue). However, it is closely related to the Festuca ovina complex and has long been identified as a separate species.

Bluejoint Reedgrass

Bluejoint is a robust, hardy, tall, tufted, perennial grass native to boreal forests. It gets its name from the purplish-blue nodes on its stems, and is also referred to as Canada bluejoint grass, reedgrass, marsh reedgrass, and Scribner’s reedgrass. It provides good spring forage for livestock and native ungulates. When harvested as livestock feed from wet meadows that contain significant amounts of bluejoint reedgrass, it is referred to as “beaver grass.”

Rocky Mountain/Alpine Fescue

Rocky Mountain fescue is a densely tufted, low-growing, perennial bunchgrass with dense fibrous roots. Alpine fescue is very similar in growth habit but slightly shorter in stature. Both are cool season native grasses. There has been some variety development research in the last 10 years by Alberta Research Council researchers in Vegreville, Alberta.

Rough Fescue

Rough fescue is a densely tufted, native perennial bunchgrass, and an important component of British Columbia’s native grasslands. The name rough refers to the rough edges of the leaves and stems.

It has fibrous roots and is rarely rhizomatous. Plants spread from tufts growing at the edges of the crowns.

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