trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners
(Link) Malte ex H.F. Lewis
wheatgrass is a bunchgrass that grows to a height of 1 to 2 ½
feet, usually without rhizomes, but tillers freely. It starts growth
in mid-spring, and seeds mature by August to September. Reproduces
from seeds and tillers.
green to violet-tinged spike, varying from thick and dense to slender;
spikelets overlapping to barely overlapping and containing 3 to
7 florets; glumes and lemmas awnless, awn-pointed, to awned; glumes
nearly as long as entire spikelet.
Leaves: Lower sheaths glabrous, occasionally
pubescent; blades flat to somewhat rolled, of medium width and gradually
tapering to the tips. Leaves are rolled in the bud; ligules short
and collar-shaped; auricles small, sometimes one or both absent.
wheatgrass is a native to Utah and much of the West. It is rarely
abundant, but is common in a number of plant communities. It is
found at elevations from 6,000 to 13,500 feet on gentle to steep
mountain slopes, valley bottoms, and rolling hills, but it seldom
occurs in the mountainous and hilly semi-desert zones of Utah. Slender
Wheatgrass occurs on practically all of the mountain and high mountain
sites, but only on a few of the upland sites. It is moderately drought
resistant, as well as resistant to long wet periods, under good
management. Moderately intense fires are usually survived by Slender
wheatgrass, and it recovers rapidly through seed in high intensity
deep, well-drained, medium to fine textured soils that are well
developed. Not considered tolerant of salt and alkali but fairly
tolerant to long, wet seasons.
brome, yarrow, Junegrass,
aspen, cottonwood, and big
forage value of slender wheatgrass is good, diminishing in palatability
in the latter part of the growing season. In general, it is considered
to be an excellent forage grass for cattle, horses, sheep, elk,
and deer and valuable as cover and feed for many forms of small
mammals and upland game birds as well as songbirds. Later in the
growing season it becomes slightly coarse and stemmy. Grazing management
should take into account the fact that this species is rather sensitive
to grazing; yet it withstands grazing reasonably well and serves
as an indicator of trend in the population of other valuable, associated
range and watershed vegetation species.
Erosion control values are excellent, as it will quickly establish
from seed. It is occasionally used for hay and in irrigated pastures.