Agronomic Grass

Russian Wildrye

Russian wildrye is a large, cool season, introduced, long-lived, perennial bunchgrass. It is well suited for pasture and stockpiled grazing. The roots are fibrous and may establish to a depth of 1.9 to 2.6 m (6 to 8 ft.). However, about 75% of the roots are in the surface 15 to 60 cm (6 to 24 in.). Russian wildrye roots have an extended horizontal spread and may draw heavily on soil moisture for a distance of up to 1.3 to 1.6 m (4 to 5 ft.).

Tall Fescue

Tall fescue is a deep-rooted, medium- to long-lived, perennial bunchgrass. Although it is considered a cool season grass, tall fescue can tolerate more heat than other cool season grasses, and is considered a transition between the two types. Longevity in northern regions is extremely variable and dependent on variety. It is similar to meadow fescue but is distinguished by having wider, less glossy leaves.

Intermediate/ Pubescent Wheatgrass

Intermediate wheatgrass is an erect, tall, perennial grass. Pubescent wheatgrass is currently considered to be a type of intermediate wheatgrass, although originally it was considered a separate species.

It appears to be a bunchgrass but some varieties have stronger, longer creeping rhizomes than others. It forms deep, extensive fibrous roots. Stems are 50 to 150 cm (20 to 60 in.) tall. Leaves are blue-green to green and 2 to 10 mm wide with thickened and hardened margins.

Tall Wheatgrass

Tall wheatgrass is a long-lived, tall, perennial bunchgrass introduced to North America from Russia. It is often used for rehabilitation of saline areas. It has an extensive fibrous root system that can grow 300 cm (118 in.) into the soil. Plants form a “bunch” that increases in size with age.

Stems are coarse and grow 100 to 300 cm tall (39 to 118 in.). Leaves are 2 to 6.5 mm with short hairs that make them scratchy to the touch.


Redtop is a long-lived, perennial tufted grass with common names like bentgrass or ticklegrass. Several closely related species of this bentgrass group are discussed in the literature including redtop (Agrostis gigantea Roth or Agrostis stolonifera - introduced), and hair bentgrass (Agrostis scabra - native). The common name ticklegrass can refer to any of these species. Redtop was introduced and has become naturalized throughout British Columbia. It is abundant following disturbance, especially in the northeastern part of British Columbia.


Timothy is a widely adapted, cool season perennial bunchgrass. It is considered hardy and reliable, but does not tolerate drought well.

Roots are wide spreading, shallow and fibrous with heaviest concentration of roots within top 7.5 cm (3 in.) of soil. Swollen bulbs or corms develop just below the surface and store nutrients for winter survival and regrowth after cutting or grazing.

It has strong tall stems up to 120 cm (47 in.) tall. Leaves are hairless and rolled during the bud stage. They are relatively wide, up to 12 mm, and flat.

Smooth Bromegrass

Smooth bromegrass is a high-yielding, cold hardy, long-lasting, creeping perennial grass. Roots are deep, fibrous, and very fine. Once established it grows creeping rhizomes and can become root bound.

Stems can reach as high as 1.2 m (48 in.) in height. Leaf blades are rolled, hairless, large and wide, up to 1.5 cm (1/2 in.). There is often a “W” constriction in the upper leaf.

Hard Fescue/Sheep Fescue

Hard fescue is an introduced, cool season bunchgrass with fibrous roots. Hard fescue is not native to North America and was introduced from Europe. There is some confusion about the scientific naming of the species, mostly because in older works it was considered a subspecies of sheep fescue (Festuca ovina var. duriscula). Sheep fescue is also introduced from Europe, but is closely related to the red fescue (F. rubra) complex, which is native to North America.

Chewings Red Fescue

Chewings red fescue is a long-lived, loosely tufted perennial that usually grows from rhizomes and appears in many forms and variants. Both introduced and native types have been recognized as separate species. Over 100 varieties of this complex are sold in Europe. Some have been introduced to North America and have hybridized with native forms.

Meadow Bromegrass

Meadow bromegrass is a hardy, long-lived, high-yielding, cool season perennial grass. It regrows very quickly after grazing, even late in the season. Meadow bromegrass has fibrous roots and short rhizomes which spread slowly.


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