Previous Fodder and Pasture Plants (1913) Next

 

92   FODDER AND PASTURE PLANTS.

perhaps because the types now grown have rather poor foliage on the stems.

Pasture: It is of little value for pasture, as the second growth is poor.

When sown alone, ten to fifteen pounds of good seed should be used to the acre. No advantage in yield is gained by seeding more thickly on dry soils; on the contrary, it is apt to lessen the yield in succeeding years.

Seed: It is ready to cut for seed when the spikelets are of a greenish-straw colour, which stage is reached, under normal conditions, three to four weeks after flowering. It can be cut with a binder, cured like Timothy and threshed in a grain thresher.

Quality of seed: The seed is bright straw-coloured, from a third to half an inch long, awnless or with a short, straight awn at the tip.

WESTERN WHEAT GRASS (Agropyron occidentale Scribn.)

 

Other Latin name: Agropyron Smithii Rydb.

Other English names: Colorado Blue-stem, Blue-joint, Alkali Grass.

 

Western Wheat Grass is strongly perennial with a creeping root-stock similar to that of Couch Grass. The plants do not grow in tufts, like Western Rye Grass, but form an open sod with scattered stems and leafy shoots like Couch Grass. The whole plant is bluish green which accounts for the names Blue-stem and Blue-joint. The stems are from one to four feet high and rather stout. The leaves are comparatively long, firm in texture, flat, or in dry localities rolled together. The inflorescence is strongly flattened, broader and denser than that of Western Rye Grass. The spikelets are about twice as long and contain a greater number of flowers—generally about eight. In a spikelet of Western Rye the two lowest glumes are about as long as the whole spikelet, whereas in Western Wheat they are about half as long.

Western Wheat Grass is indigenous to western Canada from Saskatchewan to the Rocky Mountains. In the United States it extends westward from Michigan and Kansas.


Previous Fodder and Pasture Plants (1913) Next