Needle & Threadgrass

Needle & Threadgrass "bails" after custom field collection in a native southern utah stand.


A Little Bit About Us

Great Basin Seed has a proud heritage in the Intermountain West seed industry. Our family lineage and business heritage are directly linked to the beginnings of reclamation, revegetation and wildlife habitat improvement.


Great Basin Seed
450 South 50 East
Ephraim, UT 84627

Contact Info

435.283.1411 (Office)
435.283.6872 (Fax)

Questions? Gives us a call at 435.283.1411 Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm.

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Crested Wheatgrass was introduced from Russia, Siberia and Turkey, perhaps as early as 1898. It is a cool season perennial bunchgrass, without rhizomes, growing to a height of 1 to 2 feet. It starts growth in early spring and flowers in late spring. It reproduces from seeds and tillers and may regrow in the fall if moisture is sufficient. It is long-lived with a deep root system. It has good seedling vigor.

Crested Wheatgrass Habitat

Crested Wheatgrass can be found on most rangelands of the intermountain west. It is adapted from 2,500-9,000 feet, though it performs best between 4-6,000. It prefers well drained soils, it is not adapted to poorly-drained soils or heavy clay soils. It requires a minimum of 10″ annual precipitation. It has fair tolerance to alkali and acidity.

Crested Wheatgrass Uses

Crested Wheatgrass produces fair forage. As the grass matures is becomes harsh and protein content drops rapidly. It does, however, yield well and is highly palatable in the spring. It is used extensively for reclamation, stabilization and erosion control. It is a primary component of our Dryland Pasture Mix. Because of ease of establishment, longevity and broad value it is planted more frequently in the intermountain west and desert southwest than any other grass species for dryland pasture, reclamation and stabilization.

Crested Wheatgrass Varieties

Agropyron cristatum should not be confused with Agropyron desertorum, though the two are closely related. Hycrest is a hybrid between A. cristatum and A. desertorum.

There are a number of crested wheatgrass varieties. Use the downloadable documents to help you make the choice most appropriate for your needs.

  • Fairway: introduced/released 1983, from Ankara Turkey. Fairway’s rhizomatous growth habit make it well suited for soil stabilization.
  • Ephraim: released in 1994, a hybrid of four accessions. Quality forage value, high seedling vigor.
  • Roadcrest:  shorter, finer leaf texture that other varieties. Used for roadside reclamation and low maintenance turf areas. More sod forming and less clumpy than other crested wheat grasses.
  • Kirk: introduced/released from Siberia in 1297. Short and fine-stemmed. Capable of forming sod in dryland areas.
  • Douglas:  Produces less forage but is leafier than other varieties and stays green longer.
  • Hycrest: is a hybrid between Agropyron cristatum and Agropyron desertorum. It is easier to establish than wither of it’s parents.

For additional information see the USDA PLANTS database.

***click the “Additional Information” tab for more seed facts.

Common Name & Variety

Scientific Name

Crested WheatgrassAgropyron cristatum
DouglasAgropyron cristatum var. douglas
EphraimAgropyron cristatum var. ephraim
RoadcrestAgropyron cristatum var. roadcrest
ParkwayAgropyron cristatum var. parkway
RuffAgropyron cristatum var. ruff
Desert or Standard Crested WheatgrassAgropyron desertorum
NordanAgropyron desertorum var. nordan
SummitAgropyron desertorum var. summit
Siberian WheatgrassAgropyron fragile
VavilovAgropyron fragile var. vavilov
Vavilov IIAgropyron fragile var. vavilov II
P-27Agropyron fragile var. P-27
Hybrid Crested/Desert WheatgrassAgropyron cristatum X Agropyron desertorum
HycrestAgropyron cristatum X Agropyron desertorum var. Hycrest
Hycrest IIAgropyron cristatum X Agropyron desertorum var. Hycrest II
CD IIAgropyron cristatum X Agropyron desertorum var. CD II
Common Name:

Crested Wheatgrass

Scientific Name:

Native or Introduced:

Available Cultivars/Varieties:

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Seeds per lb.

Best Time to Sow:

Max Sowing Depth:

Sowing Rate

3-7 PLS lbs. per Acre

Growth Season:

Growth Height:

Min. Precipitation

9-10 Inches Minimum

Root Form


Plant Type:

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