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Forage Identification: Timothy

Department of Plant Sciences

Timothy  (Phleum pratense L.)

Timothy grass thrives in cool, moist areas.  It is tolerant of acidity, wetness, and some flooding.  This grass has its origin in Europe and has good winter hardiness. It is not however, tolerant of drought or salinity. The best soil for this grass will have a pH between 5.4 and 6.2. Sandy soils should be avoided.



Growth Habitat:
Cool season, perennial bunch grass. Widely established on mountain ranges with more than 16 inches of precipitation. It is relatively easy to seed and establish, although it is relatively short-lived.


Plant Characteristics:
This grass is a leafy, tall-growing grass. Two to four feet in height, but is not able to vegetatively propagate. The spike-like panicle is cylindrical and compact. The panicle is two to six inches in length. Florets are bristly. The leaves are flat and taper to a thin point. Plants have a shallow, compact, fibrous roots that grow corms at the stem base.


Seed Characteristics:
Light tan color, wedge shaped but are round with a thin silvery lemma. The best time for planting is between February 1st to May 1st or August 1st and September 1st.

Timothy seeds

Important Identifying Characteristics:
Bulblike or swollen base that form corms. A corm is a solid, swollen stem base that acts as storage tissue. Corms occur underground in the top layer of soil.


Primary Uses:
Hay, silage and pasture.


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