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Plant - fall
Willow Lake
Sue Smith
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Thinopyrum ponticum - tall wheatgrass

Synonyms: Elymus elongatus, Agropyron elongatum, Agropyron varnense

Other Common Names: rush wheatgrass

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Willow Lake Sue Smith
Plant image

Willow Lake Sue Smith
Plant image

Willow Lake Sue Smith
Plant image

Willow Lake Sue Smith
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Introduced    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Found in disturbed, often wet, alkaline areas.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 6000 feet

General Description

Desc: Tall, wide, densely clumped grass with erect seedhead stems. It has been planted along roadsides for stabilization. It is one of the most saline tolerant grasses commercially available.
Identification notes: Densely clumping perennial. Sheaths hairy on lower margins. Auricles less than 1/16 inch long. Blades rolled longitudinally, with ribs on upper surface. Seedhead erect, to 16 inches long. Spikelets one per node, 5 to 18 florets. Glume veins about equal.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
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: Jun - Jul

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Absent   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Elongate robust seedhead stems, 14 to 30 inches long. Spikelets one per node, elliptic to oblong, 5 to 18 fertile florets, diminished florets at the apex, laterally compressed. Glumes blunt.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Convolute  
Blade Notes: Blades 8 to 18 inches long, thin, and stiff. Leaf blade surface ribbed. The blades are often covered with short stiff hairs making them rough to the touch.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): Y
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths fringed with hairs on the margins; tiny auricles and ligules.

Forage Value: Good. Tall wheatgrass is most palatable during the early spring months and should be managed during this time. If not, old coarse growth may inhibit grazing the following year. It must be grazed heavily to maintain plants in the vegetative state.

  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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