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Forage Identification: Russian wildrye

Department of Plant Sciences

Russian wildrye  (Psathyrostachys juncea (Fisch.h) Nevski)

Adaptation:
Large, cool season, perennial bunchgrass. Primarily a dry land pasture grass adapted to areas with rainfall from 8 to 16 inches.

 

Russian wildrye

Growth Habitat:
Perennial, large upright bunchgrass. Fibrous root system that can be deep.

Russian wildrye

Plant Characteristics:
Bunchgrass that has basal leaves that are 6 to 18 inches in length. Erect, leafless reproductive stems are 30 to 40 inches tall. Seed head is short, dense erect spike with two or more short-awned spikelets. Roots may establish six to eight feet in depth, but most are 6 to 24 inches. Roots have an extensive horizontal spread.

Russian wildrye

Seed Characteristics:
Light tan color, same size as Crested wheatgrass

Russian wildryeRussian wildrye

Important Identifying Characteristics:
Abundance of long, dense, basal leaves that are 6 to 18 inches long and up to 1/4 inches wide. Color varies from light to dark green, to many shades of blue-green.

Russian wildrye

Primary Uses:
Pasture.


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