Beardless Wildrye (Triticoides)

The Beardless Wildrye (Triticoides) is generally described as a perennial graminoid. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer and fall . The greatest bloom is usually observed in the late spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until summer. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Beardless Wildrye (Triticoides) has a long life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Beardless Wildrye (Triticoides) will reach up to 3 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 0 inches.

The Beardless Wildrye (Triticoides) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by seed, sprigs. It has a slow ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have low vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -33°F. has high tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Beardless wildrye is used for soil stabilization on channel, stream and river slopes and restoration of roadside, riparian and rangeland areas. It is also used for forage or cover on wet or wet-saline-alkaline soils. This includes pastureland; saline-affected, irrigated cropland; and dryland, saline-seep discharge areas. In good soils, roots may go down 10 ft. It also lays flat during high water flow periods, thus allowing full water flow while still protecting the streambank. It provides high quality waterfowl and upland game nesting habitat. This species’ flood tolerance is excellent. It is found in flood plains that receive prolonged inundation

Ethnobotanic uses: Beardless wildrye seed was used by Native Americans for food.

General Characteristics

General: Grass Family (Poaceae). Beardless wildrye is a cool-season, perennial, sod-forming native grass. It is a long grass that is typically tall and strongly rhizomatous. The stems are often smooth, but can be hairy. Leaf blades are green to blue-green and 2.5-4 mm wide with a slightly rough upper surface.

Required Growing Conditions

Beardless wildrye is distributed at low and medium elevations from Montana to Washington and south to west Texas and California. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Adaptation This grass grows on mostly heavy soils in riparian areas, bottomlands, valleys, foothills, mountain flats and meadows from coastal marshes to high elevations.

Cultivation and Care

Beardless wildrye can be established by seed, sod or rhizomes.

General Upkeep and Control

If managed properly it will develop into large patches or colonies, but cultivation restricts it. It can be valuable forage in certain areas, especially on meadows that become dry, where it is grazed through most of the summer. It resists trampling and recovers well from grazing. At lower elevations it is coarser for grazing than annuals. It will also tolerate mowing well, especially if mowed late in the growing season and if not mowed too short. It is also fire tolerant. After mowing or burning it begins green-up in the late summer if deep soil moisture is adequate. In spite of delayed germination of up to one month and poor seedling vigor, it can compete sufficiently with weeds and annual grasses to dominate a site in the second year.

Pests and Potential Problems None

Seeds and Plant Production Beardless wildrye seed matures in late spring to early summer. Most wild ecotypes flower but do not produce seed. If viable seed is present, it can be collected for 4-20 weeks. The seed does not shatter as easily as many other species. There are between 110,000 and 130,000 seeds/lb. and if planted at a rate of 1 lb./acre there would be approximately 2.8 seeds/square foot.

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Rapid
General Type Graminoid
Growth Period Spring, Summer, Fall
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Long
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Late Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Rhizomatous
Drought Tolerance High
Shade Tolerance Intolerant
Height When Mature 3
Vegetative Spread Rapid
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Conspicuousness No
Fruit/Seed Abundance Low
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Summer Summer
Seed Spread Rate Slow
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Seed, Sprigs
Moisture Requirements High
Cold Stratification Required Yes
Minimum Temperature -33
Soil Depth for Roots 10
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Moderate
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 6–9 pH
Precipitation Range 7–7 inches/yr
Planting Density 3000–11000 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Fine, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 10
Minimum Frost-Free Days 110 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance Medium
CaCO3 Tolerance High
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Palatability Medium
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA