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General: Grass family (Poaceae). Tall wheatgrass is a tall, long lived perennial bunchgrass reaching 1 to 3 m (3 to 10 ft) tall. Leaves are green or glaucous bluish with blades flat to curling, 2 to 8 mm (0.08 to 0.31 in) wide. The blades are often covered with short, stiff hairs making them scratchy to the touch. Auricles are well developed and ligules reach ca 0.7 mm (0.02 in) long. The inflorescence is a spike with a continuous rachis. Internodes in the spike are about 7 to 20 mm (0.3 to 0.8 in) long. Spikelets are solitary at each node each with five to 18 flowers. Glumes are thick and hardened, 6 to 11 mm (0.2 to 0.4 in) long with 5 to 7 nerves. The tips of the glumes are truncate (abruptly rounded). Lemmas are also thick and hardened, 9 to 13 mm (0.4 to 0.5 in) long with a truncate to acute apex. Anthers are 4 to 7 mm (0.15 to 0.20 in) long. 2n=14, 28, 42, 56 or 70 (Welsh et al 2003).

Distribution: Tall wheatgrass is originally from Turkey, Asia Minor and Russia. It was introduced to the U.S. from Turkey in 1909 (Weintraub, 1953) and is now found throughout all western states of the U.S. and most Canadian provinces (USDA, 2008; Barkworth, et al., 2007).


Public Domain

USDA NRCS Plant Materials Center, Pullman, Washington

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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