Alkali Sacaton

  • Scientific name: Sporobolus airoides
  • Used for erosion control
  • Excellent for range and habitat improvement
  • Tough, warm-season perennial bunchgrass
  • Tolerant of salinity and a broad range of pH
  • Good drought and salt tolerance

Quantity is per pound. Example: 1 = 1 lb, 2 = 2 lbs, 3 = 3lbs, etc. This is pure seed, not a live plant.

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Alkali Sacaton (Sporobolus airoides) is a native warm season grass used for erosion control, ranges, and habitat improvement. It is a tough perennial bunchgrass with a mature height ranging from 2 – 4 feet tall. It is found in the western half of the United States and grows in both saline and nonsaline coarse, medium, and fine textured soils. It is tolerant of salinity and a broad range of pH. After establishment, alkali sacaton is tolerant of drought and water inundation. However, it is intolerant of shade and is found growing in open areas. This is a tough perennial.

Alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides) grows on dry to moist sites with sand or gravelly soil. This species is often found growing on alkaline flats, prairies, and sandy plateaus. It is common along drainage in desert and semi-desert areas. It is an important forage species in the arid and semiarid regions of the Southwest United States. It is both salt and alkali tolerant and will grow in areas with a minimum of 12 inches of precipitation each year.

Alkali sacaton is good forage for horses and cattle in the far western United States in arid or semiarid regions. It is also a source of food for deer, small mammals , birds (game and non game), and waterfowl. It is relished by jackrabbits.

It is also frequently utilized for seeding and stabilizing disturbed areas. Due to its salt tolerance, it is recommended for seeding saline sites such as oil well pits and saline waste from power generating plants.

The grass is tolerant of moderate grazing and a good forage producer. It has the ability to efficiently use extra water during forage production. It is tolerant of fire but can be killed if the fire is severe. Fire recovery has been reported from 2 to 4 years. Summer fires have more of an effect than winter fires.

This plant has historically seen some ethnobotanic use. The Hopi Indians use the seeds in times of famine. They were ground into flour, eaten dry or made into a mush.

Alkali sacaton is considered a primary or secondary invader on saline soils.

*** Click on the “Quick Plant Facts” tab above for more information.

(Sporobolus airoides)

Alkali Sacaton Plant Fact Sheet from the NRCS

NRCS Plant Fact Sheet

Prepared By: Melina Brakie, USDA NRCS East Texas Palnt Materials Center, Nacogdoches, Texas
Species Corrdinator: M. Kat Anderson, USDA, NRCS, National Plant Data Center, c/o Plant Sciences Dept., Davis, California

Download PDF

Helpful Links

Additional information about this product can be found on the academic websites linked below.


Many plants have more than one common and scientific name. We've listed a few of them below.

  • Alkali Sacaton
  • Agrostis airoides
  • Sporobolus airoides

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Quick Plant Facts
Common Name:

Alkali Sacaton

Scientific Name:



Plant Type:

pH Tolerance:

Seed Count


Growth Height:

Root Form


Sowing Rate

2-3 PLS lbs. per Acre

Min. Precipitation

6 Inches Minimum

Best SowingTime

Late Summer

Max Sowing Depth:

Growth Season:

Sun & Shade Tolerance:

Shade Intolerant

Elevation of Occurance:

Available Varieties:

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