Visit the Native Plant Interpretive Garden at Crooked River Ranch
Find Out What Native Plants and Invasive Weeds are on Your Property
The “Weed Team” offers private consultations for Crooked River Ranch property owners who want to know what native plants and invasive weeds are growing on their property.
FANs will be asking for a private consultation donation of $15 for FANs members and $20 for nonmembers. Contact Marilynne Keyser at 541-923-0558 or email@example.com for more information or to schedule a consultation.
January 2015 Native Plant of the Month
Bluebunch Wheatgrass: The Major Domo of Native Bunchgrasses
Bluebunch Wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) is the dominant native grass here in the Deschutes Canyon Area. It’s a tall blue-green, wheat-like grass (hence, the name). Bluebunch wheatgrass is often found with Sandberg bluegrass and Idaho fescue.
This long-lived perennial grows in a variety of habitats, but it prefers well-drained, coarse soils. It’s deep fibrous root system adapts well to drought situations. When there is moisture, bluebunch wheatgrass can grow to three or four feet tall. Leaves remain green throughout the growing season. After it turns golden in the fall, it continues to be attractive, especially when the wind is blowing. Think of “amber waves of grain!”
One fabulous thing about bluebunch wheatgrass is that it is extremely tolerant to fire, so cutting down in the fall is not really necessary. Dead foliage may be beneficial to bluebunch wheatgrass, as it reduces air movement and decreases water stress. It may also have a form of allelopathy--producing a chemical growth inhibitor for other plants--
which helps it compete with other plants, including nonnative cheatgrass.