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How To Order: Quantity options listed represent bulk weights. Examples: 1 = 1 lbs, 25 = 25 bs.



Common Name: Western Wheatgrass

Scientific Name: Pascopyrum smithii

Native / Introduced: Native

Main Uses:

~Erosion Control
~Wildlife Habitat Improvements

Height: 1 - 3 feet

Root Type: Sod

Growing Season: Cool

Soil Types: Most soils, best on medium clay textures

Tolerances: Salt and moderate acid, drought

Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial shade

Minimum Precipitation: 7-10 inches

Lifecycle: Perennial

Planting Seed Rate: 8-16 lbs/acre

Estimated Seeds Per Pound: 114,000

Optimal Planting Season: Fall/Spring

Planting Depth: 1/4 - 1/2 inch



Western Wheatgrass, a cool-season grass displaying a bluish-green hue with tan and purple undertones, attains a height ranging from 1 to 3 feet. Thriving in a broad range of environments, it is prevalent across North America, especially in the Great Plains, Southwest, and Intermountain regions of the western United States, favoring medium to fine textured soils.


This native grass exhibits remarkable adaptability, flourishing with as little as 7 to 10 inches of annual rainfall in some areas, while its optimal growth occurs with 12 to 20 inches of precipitation. Notably, Western Wheatgrass demonstrates moderate tolerance to acidic soil and significant resistant to salt, making it an excellent choice for reclamation efforts in areas with high soil salinity. This plant species is well-known for its cold and drought-tolerance and can be fire-tolerant if in the dormant stage.


Renowned for its extended lifespan and robust rhizomes that contribute to the formation of dense sods, Western Wheatgrass serves as an effective solution for erosion control. Its extensive fibrous roots and rhizomes play a crucial role in stabilizing soil, reducing the risk of erosion. Beyond its ecological benefits, this species is late-maturing and palatable, making it an ideal selection for improving range, watershed, and wildlife habitats.


Valued for its versatility, Western Wheatgrass proves beneficial for both livestock and wildlife. It is considered a desirable feed for sheep and antelope in spring when it is considered most nutritious, and is also a preferred feed for cattle, horses, deer, and elk year-round. With its low growth form, robust sod, and minimal maintenance requirements, Western Wheatgrass emerges as an excellent ground cover option, contributing to a range of applications from reclamation to erosion control and wildlife habitat enhancement.



NRCS Plant Profile:

NRCS Plant Guide:

NRCS Fact Sheet:


Photo Credit: Matt Lavin

Western Wheatgrass Seeds


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