Kootenay

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.).

American Vetch

American vetch is a long-lived, cool season, native perennial legume. It has climbing or trailing tendrils; the name vicia is from the Latin vincio meaning to bind or climb. It is commonly found throughout British Columbia. Its common names include American vetch, wild vetch, stiffleaf vetch, and wild pea. Currently recognized subspecies are Vicia americana ssp. americana and Vicia americana ssp. minor Hook.

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.

Canada Wildrye

Canada wildrye is a tall, tufted, cool season, perennial bunchgrass. It is also known as nodding wildrye in some areas.

It grows from a deep, spreading root system, occasionally with short rhizomes.

Erect and leafy hollow stems grow to 60 to 150 cm (24 to 59 in.) in height. Leaf blades are flat and wide, waxy green, and sometimes curled. Its seed heads self-pollinate, with some cross-pollination.

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.

Rocky Mountain/Alpine Fescue

Rocky Mountain fescue is a densely tufted, low-growing, perennial bunchgrass with dense fibrous roots. Alpine fescue is very similar in growth habit but slightly shorter in stature. Both are cool season native grasses. There has been some variety development research in the last 10 years by Alberta Research Council researchers in Vegreville, Alberta.

Reed Canarygrass

Reed canarygrass is a well-adapted, long-lived, cool season, perennial native grass. It grows well in wet areas but also can tolerate some drier areas.

Extensive sod-forming root systems are produced by crowns below the soil surface. The plant may appear to be bunched but actually produces large diameter, short rhizomes, which in turn produce new shoots and roots.

Stems are coarse and erect, growing up to 200 cm (79 in.) tall. Leaves are pale green, large, flat, and wide up to 20 mm (3/4 in.) wide.

Bluebunch Wheatgrass

Bluebunch wheatgrass is a native, perennial, cool season bunchgrass with fibrous roots, sometimes forming clumps as wide as 150 cm (59 in.). Stems range from 60 to130 cm (24 to 51 in.) tall, with narrow leaves mostly originating from the stem.

Blue Wildrye

Blue wildrye, also known as smooth wildrye, is a bluish-green, tall, tufted, native cool season perennial grass. The root system is fibrous and may have short rhizomes. The plant forms small tufts of a few stems between 50 to 150 cm (20 to 59 in.) tall. The stems have a waxy covering that contribute to the plant’s bluish-green colour and name.

Cicer Milkvetch

Cicer milkvetch is a palatable, non-bloating, perennial legume. The name comes from the belief that goat’s milk supply was increased from eating vetches. It does not accumulate toxic levels of selenium, unlike many of the other milkvetches or “loco weed.”

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