Native plant community

To maintain or move toward the potential natural community (PNC) for a site.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tufted Hairgrass

Tufted hairgrass is a short-lived, tufted, cool season, native perennial bunchgrass. Roots are shallow, fibrous, and dense. A mass of deep green leaves covers the crown. Densely tufted and with numerous stems, this native grass is found throughout British Columbia. Seed production is important for stand maintenance. It is valuable as a range grass and fairly resistant to close grazing.

Western Wheatgrass

Western wheatgrass is a native cool-season perennial grass that grows from conspicuous white rhizomes, and is strongly rhizomatous. Western wheatgrass is a sub-dominant in plant communities with bluebunch wheatgrass and Idaho fescue, and is dominant on many sites on mixed-grass prairie east of the Rockies. On clay sites it is usually found with green needlegrass (Nassella viridula (Trin.) Barkworth - syn. Stipa viridula).

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