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)

Also known as Black Greasewood, Greasewood is a deciduous shrub growing 2 to 8 feet tall. The leaves are bright green and often have a crust of salt that can be tasted. The leaves are shed in winter. The twigs are rigid, white to tan in color and spiny. Trunk bark is yellowish-gray to light brown with deep grooves. It most commonly develops on finely textured saline or alkaline soils, it occasionally grows on coarsely textured non-saline soils.

Greasewood grows on dry, sunny, flat valley bottoms, on lowland floodplains and in ephemeral stream channels. It is a dominant plant throughout much of the Great Basin and Mojave Desert. Greasewood communities generally occur below the moister sagebrush or shadscale zones. In high saline areas, greasewood often grows in nearly pure stands, although on less saline sites it commonly grows with a number of other shrub species and typically has a grass understory.

Greasewood is tolerant of a wide range of climatic conditions but most commonly grows in areas with hot, dry summers. It commonly occurs in areas with a seasonally high water table and is often the only green shrub in pluvial desert sites with available groundwater. Average annual precipitation ranges from 5 to 10 inches. Elevation ranges from 4,000 to 7,100 feet.

Greasewood is capable of vegetative regeneration, typically sprouting after fire, application of herbicides, and other types of disturbance.

Greasewood provides fair forage for livestock and big game during the winter. Poisonous oxalates, found in the leaves, have caused mass mortality in flocks of sheep. The young twigs are especially toxic. Greasewood increases in toxicity as the growing season advances. Signs of poisoning include depression, weakness, reluctance to move, rapid and shallow breathing, drooling, coma, and death.

Zone Map


Min. Precipitation

6 Inches Minimum

Seed Count



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