Thompson - Okanagan

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.).

Crested Wheatgrass

Crested wheatgrass is a hardy, perennial, agronomic bunchgrass with fibrous roots. The Agropyron species (A. cristatum, A. desertorum) occurring in British Columbia hybridize readily when growing together, forming morphologically intermediate plants. Some cultivars are also intermediate, being derived from hybrids.

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.”

Creeping Red Fescue

Creeping red fescue is a long-lived, hardy, creeping rooted, cool season perennial grass, important for its use in stabilizing soil, as stockpiled forage, as blending for the turf industry, and as a seed crop in the Peace Region.

Root systems are fibrous with short rhizomes. Roots form a thick sod that is resilient to traffic, but they are less dense than smooth bromegrass or Kentucky bluegrass.

Stems are up to 90 cm (35 in.) tall and are often reclining at the base. Mostly basal leaves are produced and are 5 to15 cm (2 to 6 in.) long.

Birdsfoot Trefoil

Birdsfoot trefoil is a perennial legume that does not cause bloat in grazing ruminant animals. It is highly adapted to grow in a range of challenging conditions including infertile soils, soils with high acidity or poor drainage, and poorly prepared seed beds.

It has a wide crown and taproot, intermediate in depth between alfalfa and red clover. Roots sometimes develop from older stems that have soil contact. It requires its own specific Rhizobium loti inoculant to fix nitrogen.

Hybrid Bromegrass

Hybrid bromegrass is a newly developed, slightly creeping, winter hardy, long-lived perennial forage grass. It was developed from a cross between smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) and meadow bromegrass (Bromus riparius Rehm.). It is a dual purpose forage for both hay and pasture systems, producing a high quality, high volume first cut hay crop (like smooth bromegrass) followed by good regrowth for grazing and stockpiling (like meadow bromegrass). Several varieties developed by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are currently being tested in the Peace Region.

Hairy Vetch

Hairy vetch is an annual or biennial, hardy, cool season agronomic legume, also commonly referred to as fodder vetch, winter vetch, or sand vetch. It has a weak tap root that grows up to 60 to 90 cm (24 to 35 in.) with many side branches in the top 20 cm (8 in.), and is known as an excellent nitrogen fixer.

Hairy vetch has long trailing stems from 50 to 200 cm (20 to 79 in.) long. Stems are hairy and grow 1 to 3 cm (1/2 to 1 ¼ in.)long leaves on one side of the stem. There are 10 to 20 alternate, oblong leaflets per leaf, with branching tendrils at the ends.

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.

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.


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