Nordan Crested Wheatgrass

  • Long-lived grass used in both reclamation and heavy grazing.
  • Drought tolerant
  • Useful for soil stabilization.
  • Adapted for non-irrigated seedings where annual precipitation averages 8 inches or more.

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

SKU AGDE Category


Min. to Max. Annual Precipitation

32 in.

Average Max. Height

Description coming soon.

Nordan Crested Wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum)

Nordan Crested Wheatgrass is also know as Standard Crested or Desert Wheatgrass. It  is a long-lived grass used in a wide variety of situations from reclamation to grazing. It will tolerate heavy grazing, providing best forage in early season. It is quick to establish and has good seedling vigor. ARS at the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, Mandan, North Dakota, developed ‘Nordan’. ARS and ND Agricultural Experiment Station released Nordan in 1953. It is uniform, erect, with heavy seeds that are awnless. The seed heads are dense and compressed. It has good seedling vigor and seed quality and long-term forage yields are equal to the newer varieties. It is very palatable in spring and fall, but less so in summer.

Crested wheatgrass is commonly recommended for forage production. It is palatable to livestock and wildlife and is a desirable feed in spring, and in the fall if it re-grows enough. It is used for cattle and horse winter forage, but protein supplements are required to ensure good animal health. It withstands heavy grazing pressure (65% use and greater) once stands are established. The best forage types in order are Siberian, Desertorum, and Hycrest.

Crested wheatgrasses are useful for soil stabilization. They compete well with other aggressive introduced grasses. Their drought tolerance, fibrous root systems, and good seedling vigor make these species ideal for reclamation in areas with 8 to 20 inches annual precipitation. These grasses can be used in urban areas where irrigation water is limited to provide ground cover and to stabilize ditch banks, dikes, pipelines, power lines and roadsides. Birds and small rodents eat crested wheatgrass seeds; deer, antelope and elk graze it, especially in spring and fall. Upland and song birds utilize stands for nesting.

Agropyron cristatum, Agropyron desertorum, and Agropyron fragile are perennial grasses commonly seeded in the western United States. They are long-lived, cool season, drought tolerant, introduced grasses with extensive root systems. Crested wheatgrass grows from 1 to 3 feet tall and seed spikes may be 1.5 to 3 inches long.

Crested wheatgrasses are adapted for non-irrigated seedings where annual precipitation averages 8 inches or more and where the frost free period is generally less than 140 days. The desertorum type is adapted to the Northwest, Intermountain and Great Plains regions with at least 8 inches of annual precipitation below 6500 feet elevation. It does well on shallow to deep, moderately course to fine textured, moderately well to well drained and weakly acidic to moderately alkaline soils. Under saline conditions, vigor and production are reduced. The desertorum type is more saline tolerant and equal to or more productive than other crested wheatgrass types. All wheatgrasses are cold tolerant, can withstand moderate periodic flooding in the spring, and are very tolerant of fire. They will not tolerate long periods of inundation, poorly drained soils or excessive irrigation.

Other Desert Wheatgrass Varieties

Hycrest is a hybrid of Agropyron cristatum x desertorum bred for it’s excellent seeding vigor. It is easier to establish than either of it’s parents and is more productive and long lived.

Table of all Crested, Desert and Siberian Wheatgrasses

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
Additional Information
Common Name:

Desert Wheatgrass

Scientific Name:

Native or Introduced:

Sowing Rate

5-10 PLS lbs. per Acre

Seeds per lb.

Seed Count


Best SowingTime

Spring or Fall

Min. Precipitation

6 – 8 Inches

Root Form


Available Varieties:

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Growth Height:

Plant Type:


Root Form: