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California Guide to Grasses

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SOIL STABILIZATION & RANGELAND SEEDING

ITEM

COMMENTS

Zones
Seeding Rate
lbs./acre
Season
Type
Height (inches)
Forage Use
Drought Toler-
ance
Alkaline/
Salt Tolerance
Acid Toler-
ance
Soil Type
Fire Retar-
dant
Calif-
ornia Native

GRASSES

Alkaligrass
Puccinella distans
Variety: Fults, often used for turf.
1,2,4
120
Cool
Bunch
12-24
P
F
E
F
ALL
.
.
Barley
Hordeum vulgare
Winter annual. Cereal grain. Grows fast. Does not reseed.
1,2
150
Cool
Bunch
30+
P
F
G
F
S
.
.
Barley, Meadow
Hordeum brachyantherum
Fast Growing. Ideal nurse crop for long-lived native grasses. Short-lived.
1,2,4,5
25
Cool
Bunch
12-18
F
F
E
F
ALL
.
Blue Gramma
Bouteloua gracilis
Ornamental densely tufted, stoloniferous. Long-lived.
ALL
30
Warm
Bunch
6-24
F
E
G
F
ALL
.
Bluegrass, Big
Poa ampla
Variety: Rubens, high elevati.on, low fertility
1,2,5
30
Cool
Bunch
24
G
G
P
F
S
.
.
Bluegrass, Canada
Poa compressa
Shade tolerant, low growing. Roadsides, recreation areas.
4,5
80
Cool
Sod
12-24
G
G
P
G
C
.
.
Blue Wildrye
Elymus glaucus
Fast growing, good for site stabilization. Adapted to shady, woodland, forest environments.
Short-lived.
1,2,4,5
30
Cool
Bunch
12-40
F
G
F
F
ALL
.
Buffalo Grass
Buchaloe dactyloides
Best on clay soils, also used for turf. Native to Great Plains.
1
30
Warm
Sod
1-12
P
G
G
F
C
. .
Brome, Blando
Bromus mollis
Quick erosion control, annual, reseeds, below 4000’ also called Soft Chess.
1,2,4
50
Cool
Bunch
1-24
E
VG
F
F
ALL
. .
Brome, Red
Bromus rubens
Good for soil stabilization. Annual. Reseeds.
1,2,4
20
Cool
Bunch
2-18
P
E
VG
F
ALL
. .
Brome, Smooth
Bromis inermis
Variety: Manchar, easy to establish, high elevation, good soil stabilizer.
1,4,5
15
Cool
Sod
13-24
VG
VG
G
F
ALL
. .
Fescue, California
Festuca californica
Tall, ornamental. Tolerant of shape and serpintine soils. Long-lived.
1,2,4,5
30
Cool
Bunch
24-36
F
G
G
G
ALL
.
Fescue, California Red Native
Festuca rubra ‘molate’
Attractive fine bladed rhizomatous grass. Can be mown. Long-lived, California Native cultivar ‘Molate Blue’.
1,2,4,5
30
Cool
Sod
12-24
F
VG
G
G
ALL
.
Fescue, Idaho
Festuca idahoensis
Ornamental, fine bladed. Summer dormant. Native to Western U.S.
1,2,4,5
25
Cool
Bunch
12-18
F
VG
G
G
ALL
.
Fescue, Hard
Festuca longifolia
Varieties: Reliant, Atilla, Waldina. Hot areas require irrigation; fine texture, shade.
1,2,4,5
150
Cool
Bunch
12-18
F
G
F
G
ALL
. .
Fescue, Sheep
Festuca ovina
Variety: Covar, MX-86, shade tolerant. Use as ground cover, or in wildflower mixtures.
1,4,5
150
Cool
Bunch
12-18
G
G
FG
G
R,S
. .
Fescue, Zorro (Foxtail)
Festuca megalura
Native, annual, reseeds, adapted to much of arid California. Extensive root system.
1,2
20
Cool
Bunch
6-24
G
E
VG
VG
ALL
.
Fountain Grass
Pennisetum ruppelii
Popular for non-irrigated highway use. Attractive plants.
1,2,3
3
Warm
Bunch
12-48
P
VG
VG
F
ALL
. .
Needlegrass, Purple
Nassella pulchra
Fine bladed, tufted. Good on disturbed slopes.
1,2,4,5
20
Cool
Bunch
12-24
P
VG
F
F
C
.
Needlegrass, Desert
Achnatherum speciosum
Densely tufted. Occurring in arid mountain slopes of southeast California. Long-lived.
2,3,5
15
Cool
Bunch
12-24
P
E
F
F
ALL
.
Orchardgrass
Dactylis glomerata
Varieties: Paiute. Long-lived perennial.
1,2,4,5
20
Cool
Bunch
24-36
E
VG
G
F
C
. .
Purple Three-Awn
Aristida purpurea
Ornamental, tufted bunchgrass with nodding reddish panicles. Easily established from seed.
ALL
15
Warm
Bunch
12-24
P
E
F
F
ALL
.
Reed Canarygrass
Phalaris arundinacea
Best on poor drained soils, cool areas. Forage and erosion control.
1,4,5
20
Cool
Sod
24-96
VG
P
F
VG
C
. .
Sudan Grass
Sorghum vulgare
Variety: Piper. Best for hay or pasture.
2,3
20
Warm
Bunch
48+
VG
VG
F
F
ALL
. .
Timothy
Pheleum pratense
Cool, moist areas, shade tolerant, higher elevations. Does not tolerate drought or heat.
4,5
80
Cool
Bunch
24-36
E
P
P
P
C
. .
Weeping Lovegrass
Eragrostis curvula
Establishes rapidly, short lived, lacks winter hardiness.
1,2,4
25
Warm
Bunch
24-48
G
G
F
G
S
. .
Wimmera Ryegrass
Lolium rigidum
Reseeding annual, adapted to heavy soils. Earlier maturing.
1,2,4
50
Cool
Bunch
25-30
F
F
F
F
C
. .
Wheatgrass, Crested
Agropyron cristatum
Varieties: Fairway, Nordan, also used for turf. Easily established.
5
30
Cool
Bunch
13-24
G
E
F
F
ALL
. .
Wheatgrass, Intermediate
Agropyron intermedium
Variety: Tegmar, lower growing; Oahe, shade tolerant.
5
15
Cool
Sod
15-30
G
VG
F
F
C
. .
Wheatgrass, Pubescent
Agropyron trichophorum
Varieties: Luna, Topar, similar to intermediate. Good erosion control. Late maturing.
5
40
Cool
Sod
13-24
E
VG
F
F
C
. .
Wheatgrass, Slender
Agropyron trachycaulum
Tall, fast growing. Good for site stabilization, short-lived.
1,2,4,5
Cool
Bunch
13-24
G
E
F
F
ALL
.
Wheatgrass, Streambank
Agropyron riparium
Shade tolerant, low growing. Roadsides, recreation areas.
5
15
Cool
Sod
12-20
F
VG
G
F
C
. .
Wheatgrass, Tall
Agropyron elongatum
Abundant forage, poorly drained soils.
1,4,5
20
Cool
Bunch
25-30
G
G
E
F
C
.
.

LEGUMES

Alfalfa
Medicago sativa
Hay pasture or erosion control, deep rooted. Easily established.
1,2,4
20
Cool
N/A
13-25
E
G
G
P
ALL
.
.
Birdsfoot Trefoil
Lotus corniculatus
Wet & poorly drained sites, hay, pasture or erosion control. Long-lived, deep rooted, yellow flowers.
1,2,4
10
Cool
N/A
12-18
G
F
P
G
C
.
Clover, Alsike
Trifolium hybridum
Shade tolerant, cool, moist sites.
1,4
20
Cool
N/A
12-18
G
F
F
P
C
.
.
Clover, Crimson
Trifolium incarnatum
Best along coast. Annual. Reseeds.
1,4
25
Cool
N/A
12-30
VG
F
F
G
S,C
.
.
Clover, Ladino
Trifolium repens latum
Variety of white clover with thicker stems and stolons. Large growth form.
1,2,4,5
25
Cool
N/A
12-18
VG
F
F
G
C
.
.
Clover, Red
Trifolium pratense
Cool, moist sites.
1,4
15
Cool
N/A
20-25
E
G
P
P
C
.
.
Clover Rose
Trifolium hirtum
Variety: Hykon, will grow on very poor sites. Heavy reseeder, slow establishment. Dryland pasture.
1,2
30
Cool
N/A
6-18
G
VG
G
G
ALL
. .
Clover Strawberry
Trifolium fragiferum
Variety: O’Connors, very popular in Southern California for erosion control. Short, creeping, easy to establish.
1,2,4,5
15
Cool
N/A
6-12
G
F
VG
G
ALL
.
Clover, Subterranean
Trifolium subterraneum
Variety: Mt. Barker
1,2,4
15
Cool
N/A
10-12
G
VG
G
VG
S
.
Clover, White Dutch
Trifolium repens
Shallow rooted, cool, moist sites.
1,2,4,5
25
Cool
N/A
6-12
G
F
F
G
C
. .
Clover, Yellow Sweet
Melilotus officinalis
Aggressive, shade tolerant.
1,2,4
20
Cool
N/A
20-36
F
G
G
F
ALL
.
Vetch, Lana Woolypod
Vicia dasycarpa
Irrigated or moist sites. Easily established. Self-seeding annual.
1,2,4
60
Cool
N/A
12-20
VG
VG
G
G
ALL
. .
Vetch, Purple
Vica benghalensis
Best near coast, hay & pasture.
1,2,4
60
Cool
N/A
18-24
G
G
F
F
C
.
.
KEY: (E) = Excellent, (VG) = Very Good, (G) = Good, (F) = Fair, (P) = Poor, (C) = Clay, (S) = Sandy, (R) = Rocky

ZONE #

CLIMATE TYPE

1
2
3
4
5

Southern Coastal and Foothills
Interior Valley
Desert
Northern Coast and Foothills
Mountains


About This Guide | Mixtures & Blends | Overseeding | Turfgrass Facts | Lawn & Turf
Parks & Cemeteries | Sportsfields | Pastures, Meadows & Hillsides


 
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