Great Basin Seed
450 South 50 East
Ephraim, UT 84627
Give us a call at 435-283-1411
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Winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata) is a long lived, “hairy” perennial shrub or subshrub that produces wooly flowers that resemble small cottony balls. It is a cool season, erect to spreading, low-growing, native to the western United States. It has an extensive fibrous root system and a deep penetrating taproot. The flowers are unisex. Flowers september-november depending upon environmental conditions. It grows in all textures of soils. Occurs mostly in open plains, drainage bottoms and foothills. It is cold tolerant and moderately tolerant of alkali.
This plant is widely distributed in arid plant communities of western North America from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada to western Nebraska, Colorado, west Texas, California and Washington. It is found from near sea level to 10,000 feet elevation in salt desert shrub, pinyon juniper, sagebrush grass and near the edges of some forested plant communities in the Intermountain. In the Southwest it can be found growing in Joshua tree communities.
Winterfat is most common in the 7 to 16 in annual precipitation zones, but has been found in areas with less than 6 in of annual precipitation and in areas with greater than 20 in annual precipitation. It grows well on a wide range of soil textures, although it prefers more basic or limy soils. It tolerates moderate to highly saline conditions, but is not tolerant of acidic soils. It does not tolerate flooding or extended wet conditions. Refer to soil surveys and ecological site descriptions for additional guidance. It generally has good cold tolerance with some accessions being more tolerant.
Winterfat is important for food and cover for a number of game animals in north america. It is especially important in winter range for deer. It is a valuable species in reclamation and wildlife habitat improvement. Used extensively in mine reclamation, road cuts, landscaping and improvement of disturbed sites.
Winterfat is superior winter browse for livestock and wildlife. It is rated as excellent to good browse for cattle, sheep, and goats and fair browse for horses. It is one of the most valuable rangeland browse plants for maintaining weight of adult animals on winter grazing range because of the high (>10 percent) crude protein content in winter. It is considered very good browse for wildlife and is extensively utilized by rodents, rabbits, antelope, deer, elk, and bighorn sheep.
Winterfat is a good erosion control plant when planted in a mixture to provide greater plant density. It has a deep taproot and an extensive fibrous root system near the soil surface, which helps stabilize soils. It germinates readily and provides fairly rapid growth under favorable growing conditions. It is an important pioneer species which can be established on drastically disturbed sites or poorly developed soils such as those commonly found on mine lands.
Synonyms include Ceratoides lanata, Eurotia lanata