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.