Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thickspike Wheatgrass Varieties

Wheatgrass is used as food by many animals.

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Cattle and other livestock feed on thickspike wheatgrass, or Elytrigia dasystachya. The grass also makes a strong turf for lawns. The rhizome bearing grass grows well in chilly climates and can reach heights up to 3 feet. Three varieties of thickspike wheatgrass grow in the United States. The leaves have a green to blue-green color. propagate in abundance in the northern Great Plains.

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Young thickspike wheatgrass plants have a high percentage of protein and carbohydrates and can be eaten by sheep, horses, species of deer and cattle. The three types of thickspike wheatgrass cultivars serve as fodder and as fast growing erosion control grasses. These grasses grow successfully in locations vulnerable to landslips and erosion, in a range of different types and textures of soil.

Bannock Thickspike Wheatgrass

Bannock thickspike wheatgrass, Elymus lanceolatus, grows well in cool climates with medium rainfall. The grass bears yellow flowers in spring. The drought tolerant grass grows well in most types of soil and requires about 90 days without frost to mature. The grass propagates through seed and a rhizome network.

Critana Thickspike Wheatgrass

Critana thickspike wheatgrass has a thin stem and makes an excellent plant for erosion control near roads and pipelines. All types of livestock and deer can eat the Critana variety. The grass requires more than 8 inches rainfall per year and can grow well as a low maintenance yet lush lawn in dry places.

Schwendimar Thickspike Wheatgrass

Schwendimar thickspike wheatgrass makes an effective grass for erosion control. The grass propagates by seeds being carried by the wind. The grass also has a rhizome network that helps control erosion of soil, especially soil with a coarse texture. The rhizome network spreads rapidly for quickly stabilizing the soil. The Schwendimar thickspike wheatgrass variety requires 8 inches or more rainfall in order to flourish.

ReferencesUSDA: Thickspike WheatgrassPlant Database: Elymus Lanceolatus BannockPhoto Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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