Here you can read about the many grasses, forbs, legumes, and wildflowers that we sell.
Blue wildrye is a large, rapid developing, short lived, perennial bunchgrass native to the central and western US. It has approximately 120,000 seeds per pound. Blue wildrye grows where annual rainfall ranges between 10-40 inches and is generally more drought tolerant than meadow barley and California brome. Blue wildrye is an upright, tall grass ranging from 1-1.5 meters in height. Typical habitat consists of open woods, prairie, thickets, and moist or dry hillsides from sea level on the Pacific coast to high elevation in the Rocky Mountains(Hitchcock et al., 1969). Blue wildrye is genetically variable, but a highly self-pollinating species (Wilson et al., 1999). Populations appear to be highly differentiated (genetically different from each other). There are more compact leafy ecotypes adapted to sunny grassland habitats. Some with dark green dense leafy plant canopies and others almost leafless and light green in color. Important characteristics of this species for re-vegetation include broad adaptation, high seed production, ability to reseed readily, good ground protection, and strong seedling vigor. Blue wildrye exhibits intermediate shade tolerance. Blue wildrye is compatible with tree plantings and is utilized in re-vegetation of logged-off and burned-over timberlands and oak woodlands. Blue wildrye provides excellent wildlife habitat for mammals, birds and waterfowl. It does not become as rank or stemmy as introduced natives and provides more uniform cover.
Meadow barley is a medium sized (1 meter), short-lived, perennial bunch grass with strong seedling vigor. It is a relatively large seeded native with approximately 60,000 seeds per pound. Meadow barley can be found in meadows, bottom lands, salt marshes and grassy slopes from sea level to 7,000 ft. where annual rainfall ranges between 10-36 inches. It is tolerant of alkaline soil and will establish on infertile compacted sites. Generally, meadow barley will not persist on dry sites. These characteristics make meadow barley an ideal non-competitive nurse crop with other long-lived perennial native grasses, legumes and herbaceous plants. Meadow barley is the most popular of the native grasses and is used in many native blends because it grows quickly and easily. Meadow barley is an ideal habitat plant, annually erasing predator trails and providing some edible seed for nesting waterfowl.
American sloughgrass is a tall, light green, stout, erect annual bunchgrass with round cylindrical stems. It has approximately 90,000 seeds per pound. It is an obligate wetland species. Leaves are flat (5-10 mm) and long. Mature plants range from 1-1.25 meter in height depending on soil type and hydrology. Flowers are in 10-30 clusters, narrow spikes that are pressed close to top of stem (culm). Spikes are 10-30 cm long. Habitat consists of bunchgrass prairies, moist meadows and vernal pools, marshy flats, ditches and mud of irrigated fields, also along edges of lakes, sloughs and ponds where it has been planted widely for wildlife food. American sloughgrass is compatible with other wetland and riparian annual and perennial grasses, forbs, legumes. American sloughgrass provides excellent wildlife habitat and food for small mammals, game birds and waterfowl.
California brome is a large, leafy, short-lived bunchgrass with strong seedling vigor. California brome has approximately 95,000 seeds per pound. It grows in woodland sites throughout the west that receive 12-40 inches of rainfall annually. California brome is most productive on fertile, sunny, well-drained sites. It provides good ground cover for wildlife and waterfowl and is an excellent economically priced native grass that is very competitive with herbaceous and grassy weeds. California brome is quite variable throughout its range of adaptation. There are accessions that are annual, bi-annual, short and long-lived perennial but should not be confused with Deborah brome, an introduced brome developed in the UK for irrigated hay and pasture production. California brome is a favorite of native grass users in that it is easy to establish, quick to grow, and accomplishes many habitat and mitigation goals.
Spike bentgrass is a slender, stout, tufted perennial grass that does not have rhizomes or stolons but has growth points from basal nodes or tillers. Seed size is extremely small approximately 5.5-6 million seeds per pound. Spike bentgrass grows where annual rainfall ranges between 12-35 inches or higher. Spike bentgrass is a short, slender native. Mature plants range from 20-120 cm in height. Habitat consists of stream-banks, tidal mashes, rocky beaches, bluffs, wet meadows, river bars, clearings, moist open ground from sea level to middle elevations from southeastern Alaska to southern California. Generally not found above 6,550 ft elevation. Spike bentgrass unlike many Agrostis spp is compatible with other annual and perennial native grasses, forbs, legumes and tree plantings. Therefore it is highly recommended as a component in custom native mixtures for re-vegetation of logged-off, burned-over timberlands, oak woodlands and wet prairies. Spike bentgrass provides excellent wildlife habitat for mammals, birds and waterfowl.
Streamside lupine is a robust, stout, annual legume that provides low to moderate height forage and ground cover. It has white tips on its blue flowers in contrast to the all-blue flowers of large-leaf lupine Lupinus polyphyllus. Seed size is large approximately 30,000 seeds per pound. Streamside lupine grows where annual rainfall ranges between 18-40 inches or higher and is most dominate on well drained, gravelly or loaming soil sites with good internal drainage. It is classified as a facultative wetland species (Guard, 1995). Mature plants range from 80-90 cm in height but can grow taller under optimal growing conditions. Habitat consists of streambanks, creeks, river-bars, and sloping roadsides in lower elevations of the Pacific coast from southeastern Alaska to southern California.
Streamside lupine unlike many lupine species is compatible with annual and perennial native grasses, forbes, legumes and tree plantings. Therefore, it is highly recommended as a component in native blends and mixtures where legumes are required. Streamside lupine provides excellent habitat for pollinating and feeding insects and birds.
Tufted hairgrass is a native, perennial, tussock forming grass found along streambanks and in moist meadows, fields, wet ditches and open areas surrounding lakes and ponds. It has approximately four million seeds per pound and therefore can be planted at significantly lower rates than many native species. Tufted hairgrass is a large densely tufted, course, long lived, perennial bunch grass. It has bright green foliage and a large volume of fountain-like seed culms emerging in early spring, making it highly aesthetic. Tufted hairgrass prefer open sites. This grass is rarely, if ever an under story species of temperate forest communities (Brown et al. 1988). In the Pacific Northwest tufted hairgrass form pure stands in wet and intermittently flooded areas such as tidal mudflats and estuaries plant communities. It grows in seeps bogs, and brackish waters along the coastal waterways. It is a very salt tolerant grass and, as a result, is commonly included in many restoration or revegetation projects where brackish water exists. Tufted hairgrass is also a rapid invader of disturbed sites at high elevations (8,000 ft - Cascade & Sierra Range). Such characteristics make it valuable for reclamation of disturbed high elevation mines, ski slopes and high elevation meadows. Tufted hairgrass, unlike blue wildrye, is genetically heterogeneous, self-incompatible and requires wind and insect pollinators for effective fertilization. Tufted hairgrass should be included in wetland, restoration projects since it provides very dense nesting foliage and has a very long summer green period. It is also a valuable streambank erosion plant where long-term stabilization is necessary, and should be established with a nurse crop (blue wildrye, meadow barley, California brome, Alaska brome) or native straw mulch for superior first year establishment.
California oatgrass is a short prostrate, slow growing, long lived, perennial bunchgrass found on both sides of the Cascades, from the Pacific coast to ponderosa pine forest of the eastern slopes of Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. It has approximately 90,000-165,000 seeds per pound, with and without hulls respectively. It grows where annual rainfall range between 10-48 inches. California oatgrass is short with foliage primarily basal about 30 cm tall with long spider like stems from 60-80 cm long. It is phenotypically variable, but a highly self-pollinating species. Phenotypes have range of pubescence, leafiness, fertile tillering and other traits. Leaf and stem color can range from light green to strong red due to anthocyanine pigmentation. During flowering spikes have 3-7 spikelets and 3-10 florets per spikelet. Post anthesis the stem, spike and spikelets resemble spider legs touching the soil surface. This encourages seed shatter and may be an important seed dispersal mechanism. Characteristics important to botanist are ability to reseed readily, stay green characteristic for firebreak, traffic tolerance for ground cover, durable perennial growth and short compact plant growth. California oatgrass should be used in mixes containing tufted hairgrass in prairie wetlands and Roemer’s fescue on upland sites. It provides excellent wildlife habitat and highly digestible forage for big game mammals such as elk and deer.
Roemer’s fescue is a short, erect, slow growing, long lived, perennial found from southern British Columbia to San Francisco, California. It has approximately 460,000 seeds per pound. It grows where annual rainfall range between 8-48 inches. Roemer’s fescue is short in height with leaf foliage about 25 cm tall with stiff reproductive stems 90 cm long during flowering. It is highly cross-pollinating species with multiple phenotypes. Plant types have range of height, leaf and stem color, leaf canopy appearance, seed yield and other traits. Leaf and stem color can range from light green, glaucous, pink to rust red. Characteristics important to restoration practitioner’s include low input requirements, drought tolerance, non-aggressive growth habit, compatibility with upland forbes and flowers and short compact plant growth. Roemer’s fescue should be used in mixes containing California oatgrass in prairie wetlands and drought tolerant forbes and flowers on mesic upland sites.