Native Grass

Slender Wheatgrass

Slender wheatgrass is a cool season, native perennial bunchgrass. Its roots are fibrous, sometimes with short rhizomes.

This grass has a wide geographic distribution throughout North America. Like bluebunch wheatgrass, two subspecies occur in British Columbia. The awned version, Elymus trachycaulus ssp. subsecundus (Link) A. Love & D. Love, occurs more frequently in southern British Columbia, while the awnless plant (Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners ssp. trachycaulus) is prevalent through most of the province.

Fuzzy-spiked Wildrye (Hairy Wildrye)

Fuzzy-spiked wildrye is sometimes called hairy wildrye, but is a different species than Elymus hirsutus, which is also commonly called hairy wildrye. Fuzzy-spiked wildrye is a tall, cool season, perennial tufted grass that is adapted to a wide range of soil conditions. It is sod-forming with a deep spreading root system and creeping scaly rhizomes. It is often used for native species site rehabilitation, as its rapidly spreading rhizomes are good for erosion control.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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