Thompson - Okanagan

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.

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.

Timothy

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.

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.

Italian Ryegrass

Italian ryegrass is a short-lived, highly tillered, cool season biennial bunchgrass. It is usually grown as an annual forage or a quickly establishing, green ground cover. There are two types of ryegrasses: Italian and Westerwold, both with diploid and tetraploid varieties. Ryegrasses cross-pollinate freely and it is difficult to maintain genetic purity. Often they form a mixture of perennial and annual species.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass is a widely adapted, long-lived, persistent, low-growing perennial grass. Its roots are shallow, fibrous and concentrated near the soil surface. It eventually forms a very firm sod from the spread of slender rhizomes. Characteristics of the rhizomes vary with variety.

Kentucky bluegrass produces fine stems up to 75 cm (30 in.). The leaves are basal, soft, and smooth. At the bud stage, leaf blades are folded, flat, or V-shaped, with a boat-shaped tip. Leaf blades when flattened out are 2 to 5 mm wide.

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. 

Canada Bluegrass

Canada bluegrass is a widely adapted, cool season, non-native, perennial grass. It has many characteristics similar to Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), except for its distinctive blue-green leaf colour and flat leaf shape. It has a role as an early colonizer or pioneer species, especially on disturbed sites with low fertility and moderate acidity.

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