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Western Wheat Grass Back to Plant Page
Elymus smithii

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About Western Wheat Grass (Elymus smithii) Pascopyrum is a monotypic genus of grass containing the sole species Pascopyrum smithii, which is known by the common name western wheatgrass. This is a sod-forming rhizomatous perennial grass which is native and common in North America. It grows in grassland and prairie in the Great Plains, where it is sometimes the dominant grass species. It is the state grass of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. It is a valuable forage for animals such as bison and black-tailed prairie dogs, and it is good for grazing livestock. It is used for revegetation of disturbed and overgrazed habitat, and many cultivars have been developed to suit various conditions.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Flower Color

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry alkeline flats


Elevation ?
3597' - 7568'

Annual Precip. ?
6.8" - 23.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.97" - 1.76"

Coldest Month ?
27.3° F - 48.0° F

Hottest Month ?
55.8° F - 76.8° F

Humidity ?
2.03 vpd - 28.44 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Western Wheatgrass

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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