Basin Wildrye


Basin Wildrye is a native, cool-season, perennial bunch grass. Although it can withstand periodic flooding, it is very drought tolerant and is also tolerant of alkaline and saline soils.  It is one of the first grasses to start growing in the spring.   Basin Wildrye is found in a variety of habitats from 2,000 to 9,800 feet elevation.  Although it is palatable to all classes of livestock, Basin Wildrye is not generally used as a pasture grass because it is easily damaged by overgrazing and because it rapidly becomes coarse and stemmy after the seed heads develop in June or July.  Because it is so tall, it can provide winter forage for deer, elk, and livestock when other grasses are under snow.  It is a good species for erosion control and reclamation, because of its drought tolerance and also because it has an extensive root system that can be up 63 inches deep with a lateral spread of 39 inches.  During establishment it does not compete well with aggressive introduced species, but is very compatible with slower growing species such as bluebunch, thickspike, streambank, and western wheatgrasses.


Additional Information


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