Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
General: Grass Family (Poaceae). As one of the common names implies, the spikes, spikelets, glumes, lemmas, and leaves of what was considered pubescent wheatgrass were densely covered with hairs, whereas intermediate wheatgrass vegetative structures are for the most part smooth, but may have ciliate hairs on the leaf margins. The materials of both are now considered to be encompassed by the species Thinopyrum intermedium.
Intermediate wheatgrass grows to 3 to 4 feet tall. It is a long-lived, cool season grass with short rhizomes and a deep feeding root system. The seed spikes may be up to 4 to 8 inches long. Leaves are 4-8 mm wide and green to blue-green in color and sometimes drooping. The lemmas, paleas, and glumes are smooth to pubescent. The glumes are acute to blunt, generally five nerved, awnless to awn tipped. The florets are usually fewer than seven. Intermediate wheatgrass commercial seed often contains both pubescent and glabrous forms.
Distribution: Intermediate wheatgrass is a perennial grass introduced in 1932 from Europe and Asia. Included in this group is a form that was known as pubescent wheatgrass (Agropyron trichophorum), which was introduced in 1934 from Europe and Asia and considered slightly more drought tolerant and winter hardy. For current U.S. distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.