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Max Licher @http://swbiodiversity.org
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Elymus trachycaulus - slender wheatgrass

Synonyms: Agropyron caninoides, A. caninum, A. novae-angliae, A. repens var. tenerum, A. richardsonii , A. trachycaulum and more.

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Max Licher @http://swbiodiversity.org
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Found in open moist meadows, shaded canyons, along streams and on forested slopes. May also be found in disturbed areas.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3500 - 9000 feet

General Description

Desc: Perennial grass grows in small tufts or dense clumps with slender stems 1 to 5 feet tall. Plant ascending to erect; with or without rhizomes and sometimes stoloniferous. Leaves usually basally concentrated. Widely used to revegitate disturbed land.
Identification notes: Seedheads slender; spikelets towards branch ends; glumes nearly as long as the spikelet. Anthers 1 to 2.5 mm; most inflorescence internodes < 15 mm. Varies in the presence or absence of rhizomes, length and density of the seedhead and awn development.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: Y  Stolons: Y
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): Y  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: Greater than 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Unbranched  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jul - Oct

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: 1/4 inch to 1 inch   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead is a spike up to 10 inches long with 1 spikelet per node. Spikelets are appressed against the stem and there is more than one floret per spikelet.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or involute  
Blade Notes: Leaves are flat to involute, usually straight and ascending. Leaf blades may be smooth or hairy. Stems are thin and smooth.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Auricles are absent or extremely small. Ligules are very tiny and squarish.

Forage Value: Slender wheatgrass is very palatable and grazed by wildlife and livestock. It is rated as good in energy value but poor in protein value.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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