Letterman Needlegrass


Letterman Needlegrass

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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Product Description

Letterman needlegrass is a densely tufted, slender bunchgrass which often forms large clumps. This fine-stemmed, cool-season, erect grass occurs throughout most of the western United States and British Columbia. It can be found in Washington eastward to Montana and southward to southeastern California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Letterman needlegrass provides valuable forage for many species of wildlife and domestic livestock. Eaten by mule deer, white-tailed jackrabbits, and northern pocket gophers. Begins growth early in the year and like most needlegrasses remains green throughout a relatively long growing season. This pattern of development enables animals to use Letterman needlegrass when many other grasses are unavailable. It is grazed in early spring before fruits have developed as it becomes less palatable when mature. It is usually grazed in the fall only if the fruits are softened by rain. The awns and/or calluses of many needlegrass species become sharply pointed at maturity, causing grazing animals to avoid them after they mature. In Utah, Letterman needlegrass is considered a fair to good cattle forage but a relatively poor domestic sheep forage.

Letterman needlegrass has been used successfully in revegetating mine spoils. This species also has good potential for erosion control. Letterman needlegrass reproduces by seed and has been characterized as an “aggressive seed producer.”

Letterman needlegrass occurs across a wide range of elevations and exposures. It is found on sandy loam, loam, silty clay loam, or clay loam soils. It typically occurs on dry soils, but it can be found on very fertile or severely eroded soils. It is commonly found on gentle slopes (3-10%) with a northern aspect. It is described as somewhat more drought-resistant than the closely related Columbia needlegrass.

Letterman needlegrass occurs from middle elevations to the subalpine zone. It is a climax species in a number of grassland, sagebrush, mountain-shrub, and pinyon-juniper communities. This species is an invader on disturbed sites. Most needlegrasses begin growth in the early spring.


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Plant Quick Facts
Common Name:

Letterman Needlegrass

Scientific Name:

Old Scientific Name:


Native or Introduced:

Plant Type:

Seeds per lb.

Growth Height:

Sowing Rate

8-12 PLS lbs. per Acre

Min. Precipitation

12-29 Inches, Highly Variable

Best SowingTime

Spring or Fall

Max Sowing Depth:

Growth Season:

Sun & Shade Tolerance:

Full Sun, Shade Intolerant

Elevation of Occurance:

Root Form

Fibrous, Bunchgrass

Zone Map