Grasses

Grasses build the foundation for life. They bind the earth, preventing water and wind erosion. They are the base of the land food chain, feeding all wildlife, including ourselves. Major foods - rice, corn, wheat, bananas, and sugar - are grasses. They hold every texture and color. Ultimately, grasses are the most valuable resource and responsibility of humankind. Forty percent of U.S. land was once dazzling prairie. Even on our small plots of fenced-off land grasses offer us joy and the opportunity of no work. Natural grassland and cropland are not similar. Grassland is vastly richer and more supportive of life than conventional agriculture. In Wes Jackson's words, "The plow is deadlier than the sword."

C – Cool season grasses are the first to start growing in the spring and stay green longer into the fall. They go dormant in mid-summer unless given lots of water to keep them actively growing. Cool season grasses may be planted in early spring, summer (with extra water) or early fall; in hot climates, plant in spring, fall or winter. Sow 1/4"–1/2" deep; water to establish.
W – Warm season grasses are green during the hotter months, go dormant and turn beige when it gets cooler (also during hot, dry spells without extra water). Warm season grasses may be planted anytime, however if you sow in fall don't water as seedlings may be vulnerable to freezing-just let the covered seeds overwinter to emerge late the next spring; seed requires warm soil temperatures to germinate. Sow 1/4"–1/2" deep; water to establish. Warm season grasses are much more drought tolerant than cool season grasses and therefore a good choice.
Achnatherum hymenoides Quick shop

Plants of the Southwest

Achnatherum hymenoides

Indian Ricegrass

from $ 3.25

Achnatherum hymenoides
Achnatherum hymenoides
Achnatherum hymenoides
Plants of the Southwest

Achnatherum hymenoides

$ 3.25

The 1-2 ft. flowering stems of Indian Ricegrass are beautifully airy and graceful - an accent in rock gardens or borders and a great sandy soil meadow/reclamation grass. Attractive in dried arrangements. Full sun, extremely drought tolerant. Seed eating birds love it. Sow seed 1/2-1" deep in fall or winter for spring germination or cold stratify 1-2 months and sow in spring. Seeding rate: 1 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation: 40 lbs. per acre. Zones 4-7

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Achnatherum robustum Quick shop
Achnatherum robustum
Plants of the Southwest

Achnatherum robustum

$ 3.25

A large plant with straight spikes to 5 ft. Good as an accent in meadows, close to your house or in your dried arrangements. Sleepygrass gets its name from its apparent effect on cattle; horses seem not to be affected. Most ornamental with extra water.

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Andropogon gerardii Quick shop

Plants of the Southwest

Andropogon gerardii

Big Bluestem

from $ 3.25

Andropogon gerardii
Andropogon gerardii
Andropogon gerardii
Plants of the Southwest

Andropogon gerardii

$ 3.25

Big Blustem is a columnar bunchgrass to 6 ft. tall, 2 ft. or more wide. Blue-green leaves, stunning orange to maroon fall color. Wind and drought tolerant, but prefers extra moisture. In arid areas plant in low spots where moisture collects. This and Little Bluestem are the grasses that fattened up the cattle of the old West. Seeding rate: 1 lb. per 1000 sq. ft.. Reclamation: 18 lbs. per acre. Zones 3-7.

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Aristida purpurea Quick shop
Aristida purpurea
Plants Of The Southwest

Aristida purpurea

$ 3.25

Purple Threeawn is a small bunchgrass to 1 ft. tall, less than 1 foot wide. In summer, the seedheads form a cloud of purple. The seedhead that carries the seed is 3-spoked (3-awned) pinwheel hence the name threeawn. The seed can lodge in pets' paws or ears, so this isn't the grass to use near them. Extremely drought tolerant. Zone 4-8.

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Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana Quick shop
Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana
Plants of the Southwest

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana

$ 3.25

Silver Beardgrass is an ornamental bunchgrass 2-3 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide. Bright green leaves turn orange in the fall. Shimmering drifts appear in late summer when the fluffy white seed heads emerge. Beautiful in meadows or along the driveway or garden. Zones 4-8.

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Bouteloua curtipendula Quick shop

Plants of the Southwest

Bouteloua curtipendula

Sideoats Grama

from $ 3.25

Bouteloua curtipendula
Bouteloua curtipendula
Bouteloua curtipendula
Plants of the Southwest

Bouteloua curtipendula

$ 3.25

Sideoats Grama is one of our most popular grasses for meadows and reclamation. Use also along walks and with flowers. Seeds are borne in two parallel rows on one side of the flowering stalk, hence its name Sideoats. Easy to establish, drought tolerant, remarkably tenacious on rocky slopes. To 2 ft.tall. Sow anytime up to 2 months before the first fall frost. Seeding rate: 2-3 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation: 30 lbs. per acre. Zones 4-8.

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Bouteloua gracilis Quick shop
Bouteloua gracilis
Bouteloua gracilis
Bouteloua gracilis
Plants of the Southwest

Bouteloua gracilis

$ 3.25

This warm season grass, native to the High Plains, is a wonderful alternative lawn - the most drought tolerant lawn grass we offer. It is a low-growing bunch grass, (1-1 1/2 ft. with the seed heads) that is part sod-forming and can be grown as a tight turf. The blades are thin, so the texture of this grass is very fine. Easy to establish, cold hardy, pest and disease free, tolerant of poor soil. The seed is borne in flags that curl back gracefully when dry. You can leave it unmowed or mow 2 or 3 times a season. We use this grass more than any other in our landscaping. Blue Grama is adaptable and useful throughout the arid West. Fills out well in one season. Sow anytime up to 2 months before the first fall frost. Seeding rate for a lawn: 3-4 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation: 30 lbs. per acre. Zones 3-7.

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Buchloe dactyloides Quick shop

Plants of the Southwest

Buchloe dactyloides

Buffalograss

from $ 3.25

Buchloe dactyloides
Buchloe dactyloides
Buchloe dactyloides
Plants of the Southwest

Buchloe dactyloides

$ 3.25

Buffalograss is one of the finest grasses available for lawns and meadows in arid regions. Low growing (4-6"). It spreads along the surface of the soil with runners that root as they grow, stabilizing and binding the soil. It makes a durable, sage-green lawn that tolerates drought, cold winters and poor soil, takes traffic and is immune to pests and diseases unless fed and watered too much. Mow twice a year so the runners don't pile up on the surface. Buffalo is a warm season grass, beige from early fall to late spring. It may also go dormant in the summer if extremely hot and dry; it bounces back on its own when rain comes or a little water will keep it green. Does not compete well with weeds and aggressive grasses like bluegrass and bermuda, so be sure to get rid of those before sowing. Slow growing because the seed germinates in stages over a period of time, but very durable once established. Sow in spring, summer or fall. Seeding rate for lawns: 3-4 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation: 40 lbs. per acre. Zones 3-7.

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Dryland Blend Quick shop
Dryland Blend
Plants of the Southwest

Dryland Blend

$ 8.20

Multi-purpose blend of native grasses for ornamental meadows, home landscapes, dryland pasture, forage, reclamation. Adapted to varied soils & terrain in areas receiving 10-25" of moisture per year. Contains Blue Grama, Sideoats Grama, Indian Ricegrass, Streambank Wheatgrass, Galleta, Alkali Sacaton, Sheep Fescue & Little Bluestem. For a truly colorful & ornamental effect, add a Wildflower Meadow Mix. Height: 2-3 ft. Sow anytime except 2 months before first fall frost. Seeding rate for a meadow: 2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation seeding: 30 lbs. per acre.

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Elymus trachycaulus Quick shop

Plants Of The Southwest

Elymus trachycaulus

Slender Wheatgrass

$ 8.00

Elymus trachycaulus
Plants Of The Southwest

Elymus trachycaulus

$ 8.00

Slender Wheatgrass is a cool season bunchgrass +/- 2 feet tall. Salt tolerant, fast growing and shortlived (3-5 years). Widely used for reclamation in western U.S. because of its quick cover and persistence until other grasses take hold. Food and cover for birds and small mammals (and Elk at higher elevations). 10 pounds per acre.

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Eragrostis trichodes Quick shop

Plants of the Southwest

Eragrostis trichodes

Sand Lovegrass

from $ 3.25

Eragrostis trichodes
Plants of the Southwest

Eragrostis trichodes

$ 3.25

Sand Lovegrass is a beautiful bunchgrass 2-4 ft. tall with airy seed heads summer and autumn. Dense, deep roots. A sandy soil specialist growing in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and further east to about 5,000 ft. elevation. Very palatable. 1/4 lb per 1000 sq. ft., 6 lbs per acre. Zones 4-8.

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Festuca ovina Quick shop

Plants of the Southwest

Festuca ovina

Sheep Fescue

from $ 3.25

Festuca ovina
Plants of the Southwest

Festuca ovina

$ 3.25

Sheep Fescue is a low growing (to 1 ft.) cool season grass, green almost year-round with some watering. Being a bunch grass, it will not make a smooth turf. Though clumpy, it makes a fine, dark green lawn alternative. Tolerant of a wide variety of soil types and can take partial shade. Easy to establish spring, summer or fall. Seeding rate for small areas: 3-5 lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation: 20 lbs. per acre. Zones 2-6.

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Festuca rubra Quick shop

Plants Of The Southwest

Festuca rubra

Creeping Red Fescue

$ 4.50

Festuca rubra
Plants Of The Southwest

Festuca rubra

$ 4.50

Creeping Red Fescue is a native to Eurasia. A beautiful cool season turf grass. Very shade tolerant. Can grow to 2.5 ft. tall. Needs water at least 3 times a week. Good soil helps as does regular fertilizing. Plant (and feed) in spring or fall. Seeding rate: 5lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

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Hesperostipa comata ssp. comata Quick shop
Hesperostipa comata ssp. comata
Plants of the Southwest

Hesperostipa comata ssp. comata

$ 3.25

Needle-and-Thread Grass is a drought tolerant 3 ft. clump grass used in reclamation. Named for the sharp needle, the seed, and the 6 long thread. It is fascinating to take the seed head from the plant, stick the needle into the ground and watch the thread drill in the seed (it is a hygroscopic drill). The long threads also disperse the seeds in the wind, and while still attached to the plant they catch the light making silvery waves. Note: The seed could poke or lodge in your pet's skin. Zones 4-6.

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Hesperostipa neomexicana Quick shop

Plants Of The Southwest

Hesperostipa neomexicana

New Mexico Feathergrass

$ 3.25

Hesperostipa neomexicana
Plants Of The Southwest

Hesperostipa neomexicana

$ 3.25

New Mexico Feathergrass is a drought tolerant 3 ft. clumpgrass similar to Stipa comata. Both grow from plains to woodlands 3,000-7,000 ft., Feathergrass with a slightly more southerly range. Both are good forage. Sweeps of Stipa in nature appear set apart by their lighter color and long, silvery heads. You may not wish to plant where your pets play, but don't miss Stipas' dramatic beauty. Zones 4-6.
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Koeleria macranthra Quick shop
Koeleria macranthra
Plants of the Southwest

Koeleria macranthra

$ 3.25

Junegrass is a pretty, narrow bladed 2 ft. tall bunchgrass with a shimmery, tight seed spike. Grows on prairies, rocky slopes, woodlands and open forests 4,000 - 9,000 ft. elevation. Very broad geographical range. Good summer forage. Zones 4-7.

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Lycurus setosus Quick shop
Lycurus setosus
Plants of the Southwest

Lycurus setosus

$ 3.25

Wolftail is a 2 ft. tall bunchgrass with a thin wolftail seed spike. Foliage like Blue Grama grass with which it grows. Rocky slopes, gravelly areas and prairies 4,000 - 8,000 ft. elevation. A good looking, valuable range grass. Zones 4-7.

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Muhlenbergia porteri Quick shop
Muhlenbergia porteri
Plants Of The Southwest

Muhlenbergia porteri

$ 3.25

Airy, pink-purple cobwebs form the seedheads of Bush Muhly- a favorite perennial grass that blooms late summer through late fall.Big, up to 3 by 3 feet. Drought tolerant, but prefers good drainage. Zones 6-8.

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Muhlenbergia rigens Quick shop
Muhlenbergia rigens
Plants of the Southwest

Muhlenbergia rigens

$ 3.25

Deergrass is a handsome, commanding ornamental, 4 ft. x 4 ft. Grey-green leaves bend back and flowering spikes grow straight up. Drought tolerant. 2,500 - 7,000 ft. elevation, open slopes, canyons and woodlands. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, southern California to northern Mexico. Zones 5-8.

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Muhlenbergia torreyi Quick shop
Muhlenbergia torreyi
Plants of the Southwest

Muhlenbergia torreyi

$ 3.25

Ring Muhly is a small, utterly charming perennial, for rock garden, or path. Dries in the middle as it forms a ring. Its seedheads, which appear in the fall, are a little mist of purple. 4,500-6,500 ft. elevation. Full sun, low water. Zones 5-8.

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Nassella tenuissima Quick shop
Nassella tenuissima
Nassella tenuissima
Nassella tenuissima
Plants Of The Southwest

Nassella tenuissima

$ 3.25

Threadgrass is a decorative small bunchgrass to 2 1/2 ft. with silvery seed heads all season above fine chartreuse leaves. Full but graceful. Fast growing and can spread from seed. Zones 4-8.

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Pascopyrum smithii Quick shop

Plants of the Southwest

Pascopyrum smithii

Western Wheatgrass

from $ 3.25

Pascopyrum smithii
Plants of the Southwest

Pascopyrum smithii

$ 3.25

Western Wheatgrass is a handsome 2 ft. sod-forming grass, easily recognized by its distinctive blue color, is used for reclamation, erosion control meadows, and alternative lawns if mowed. Very drought tolerant, spreads with little moisture, but enjoys extra water. Sow in cool weather, water to establish. Seeding rate: 2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation: 15 lbs. per acre. Zones 2-6.

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Pleuraphis jamesii Quick shop

Plants of the Southwest

Pleuraphis jamesii

Galleta Grass

from $ 3.25

Pleuraphis jamesii
Plants of the Southwest

Pleuraphis jamesii

$ 3.25

A powerful reclamation grass, Galleta Grass has vigorous, spreading roots and rhizomes that resprout even when repeatedly trampled. Use for difficult areas of erosion or heavy traffic (dog runs and playing fields), in meadows and lawns, although its curly, stiff leaf blades do not resemble standard turf grasses. Allow 1-2 years establishment time before heavy use.Water increases height. In lawn settings, water only moderately. This warm season, perennial grass to 2 ft. withstands the cold winters, the wind and low moisture. Seed is light, so cover carefully; binder helps. Seeding rate: 4 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation: 20 lbs. per acre. Zones 4-7.

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Sandy Soil Stabilizer Quick shop
Sandy Soil Stabilizer
Plants of the Southwest

Sandy Soil Stabilizer

$ 21.00

Sandy soils really blow - the West Mesa in Albuquerque (whew!), Tucson, etc. These grasses can help. Be sure to establish them carefully. Then they will show their strength. Indian Ricegrass, Sand Dropseed, Galleta, Sand Lovegrass and Alkali Sacaton. 3 ft., wild look. Sow anytime except 2 months before the first fall frost. Seeding rate: 1/2 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft.; Reclamation seeding: 10 lbs. per acre.

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Schizachyrium scoparium Quick shop

Plants of the Southwest

Schizachyrium scoparium

Little Bluestem

from $ 3.25

Schizachyrium scoparium
Schizachyrium scoparium
Schizachyrium scoparium
Plants of the Southwest

Schizachyrium scoparium

$ 3.25

Little Bluestem is a handsome perennial bunchgrass 2-3 ft. tall. Very deeply rooted and drought tolerant but appreciative of extra water. Excellent for meadows, reclamation and accent plantings (dried arrangements too). Turns every color of the flame in late summer with silvery seed heads. Seeding rate: 1 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation: 20 lbs. per acre.  Zones 3-7.

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Sporobolus airoides Quick shop
Sporobolus airoides
Sporobolus airoides
Sporobolus airoides
Plants of the Southwest

Sporobolus airoides

$ 3.25

Attractive reclamation grass or ornamental, Alkali Sacaton has light, airy seed heads borne well above the bluish foliage. A bunchgrass 2-5 ft. tall. Easy to establish. Stabilizes blowing sand. Seeding rate: 1/4 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation: 6 lbs. per acre. Zones 4-7.

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Sporobolus cryptandrus Quick shop
Sporobolus cryptandrus
Plants of the Southwest

Sporobolus cryptandrus

$ 3.25

A sand specialist, this warm season, 2-3 ft. bunchgrass is used for reclamation and erosion control. Called weedy because it quickly colonizes vacant land - just what makes it so useful. All the heads of a field of Sand Dropseed curve the same way. If you live in a sandblown area, consider using this grass or Sandy Soil Stabilizer. Seeding rate: 1/4 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft. Reclamation: 6 lbs. per acre. Zones 3-7.

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Sporobolus wrightii Quick shop
Sporobolus wrightii
Plants of the Southwest

Sporobolus wrightii

$ 3.25

Giant Sacaton is an impressive no-care ornamental grass for your meadow or border. Branched, golden feathery seed heads to 7 ft. with leaves about half that height; 3-4 ft. wide. Grows 2,000 - 7,000 ft. elevation in dry, sandy open ground or rocky slopes. Zones 5-8.

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Summer Green Lawn Blend Quick shop
Summer Green Lawn Blend
Plants of the Southwest

Summer Green Lawn Blend

$ 11.25

Tough native blend of Blue Grama and Buffalograss for lawns or meadows that need little water once established. These warm season grasses complement each other: Blue Grama is both a bunch and sod-forming grass and Buffalograss spreads by above-ground runners. Blue grama germinates first, while buffalograss fills in over time. Both are low growing, but mow a few times a year for a tidy appearance. Unmowed, the soft texture is inviting or add wildflowers for a diverse meadow. Sow anytime up to 2 months before the first hard freeze. Seeding rate 2-3 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

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