Bluebunch Wheatgrass

  • Long-lived cool season perennial
  • Extremely palatable
  • Adapted to less productive soil and drought
  • A slower developing native grasses
  • Does not compete with aggressive introduced species

Plant & Variety Documents

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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Bluebunch Wheatgrass Distribution Area

Min. to Max. Annual Precipitation


Average Max. Height

Bluebunch Wheatgrass is a long-lived perennial, cool season native bunchgrass. Extremely palatable to all classes of livestock and wildlife, and adapted to less productive soil and drought. It is cold tolerant, moderately shade tolerant, and highly fire tolerant.

Bluebunch Wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) is a vital native species in the West. It is extremely palatable and adapted to less productive soil and drought. It is a long-lived perennial, cool season native bunchgrass that grows up to 4 feet tall. It has an extensive root system with strong tillers. Bluebunch wheatgrass spreads by seed but in high rainfall zones it may spread by short rhizomes.

Bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) is most abundant in 10 to 20 inch annual precipitation areas in sagebrush and juniper communities. It’s elevation range is from 500′ to 10,000′. It is a major component of many native plant communities and generally occupies 20 to 60 percent of the overall composition by weight. Bluebunch wheatgrass is common to the northern Great Plains, Northern Rocky Mountains and the Intermountain regions of the western United States.

Bluebunch does best on medium to coarse textured soils, but can be found on a range of soil textures over 10 inches deep. It will tolerate weakly saline conditions but does not grow on highly acidic sites. It is cold tolerant, moderately shade tolerant, and highly fire tolerant. It is not tolerant of high water tables, poor drainage, or periods of extended inundation.

Bluebunch wheatgrass is native to the Intermountain West and has no known negative impacts on wild or domestic animals. It is not considered a weedy or invasive species but can spread to adjoining vegetative communities under ideal environmental conditions.

Bluebunch wheatgrass can be used for native hay production and will make nutritious feed, but is better suited to grazing use. Bluebunch wheatgrass is palatable to all classes of livestock and wildlife.

Bluebunch is very drought resistant, persistent and adapted to stabilization of disturbed soils. It is very compatible with slower developing native grasses, but does not compete well with aggressive introduced species. Its drought tolerance, combined with extensive root systems and good seedling vigor, make this species ideal for reclamation in areas receiving 10 to 20 inches annual precipitation.

Bluebunch Wheatgrass Cultivars:

‘Anatone’ Selected Class Germplasm originated near Anatone, Washington. It was released by the Forest Service, BLM, Aberdeen PMC, Idaho-Utah AES, ARS and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in 2003. Anatone establishes rapidly and can survive under dry conditions at or above 10 inches rainfall. It is intended for use on rangelands for re-establishment of native plantcommunities, vegetative firebreaks, and critical area stabilization. Certified seed is available.

‘Goldar’ was selected from seed collected on Mallery Ridge in Asotin County, Washington. It was released by Idaho-Utah AES, ARS and the Aberdeen PMC in 1989. Goldar is noted for rapid establishment, high forage production, and the ability to survive with 12 inches precipitation.

Bluebunch Wheatgrass Synonyms: Agropyron spicatum, Agropyron spicatum, Elytrigia spicata

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Quick Plant Facts
Common Name:

Bluebunch Wheatgrass

Scientific Name:

Old Scientific Name:


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Seed Count

139,000 seeds/lb.

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Root Form


Planting Rate:

Min. Precipitation

8-14 Inches Minimum

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Sun & Shade Tolerance:

Full Sun, Shade Intolerant

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Zone Map


Plant PDF File