Seed heads of
various native grasses (left to right): western wheatgrass, Snake River
wheatgrass, Indian ricegrass, Great Basin wildrye, squirreltail, and green
needlegrass. Click image for additional information.
Plant Guide Is Helping Reseed the American
West By Marcia
August 28, 2003
More than 100 different kinds of plants well suited to
rangelands, pastures, streambanks, road cuts or other sites that need to be
reseeded in the intermountain states are profiled in a unique handbook,
"Intermountain Planting Guide."
The full-color, 104-page publication was issued in 2001 and has
since become a contemporary classic, capturing the attention of readers seeking
the right seeds, or seed mixes, for sites in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado,
Arizona, Montana, Wyoming and Oregon.
Service scientists Kevin B. Jensen, Howard W. Horton and Ronald E. Reed of
the agency's Forage and Range
Research Laboratory in Logan, Utah, and Ralph E. Whitesides of
Utah State University, Logan, compiled the
easy-to-use, fully illustrated guidebook from more than 50 years of research
findings. They collaborated with experts from Utah State University and from
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation
In tables, charts and brief summaries, the authors make
recommendations based on soil type, annual precipitation, elevation and other
key environmental factors that influence a plant's success.
The book is appropriate for anyone interested in using native or
introduced plants to revitalize rangelands, nourish livestock and wildlife,
stabilize erosion-prone slopes, revegetate mining spoils or simply landscape a
few acres around a summer cabin or on a hobby farm.
The text covers more than a dozen major ecosystems, ranging from
semidesert and saltbush up through high-mountain, subalpine regions. Plants
profiled include grasses such as needle-and-thread grass or reed canarygrass;
grasslike species, such as water sedge or creeping spikerush; forbs and legumes
like blueleaf aster and balsamroot arrowleaf; and woody plants, including red
alder and silver buffaloberry.
Specially developed plant varieties from the ARS scientists at
Logan and their co-investigators are also noted, including scarlet globemallow,
Bozoisky-Select Russian wildrye, Rimrock Indian ricegrass, and Vavilov
Siberian, CD-II, Douglas, Hycrest and RoadCrest crested wheatgrasses.
Copies are available from
University Extension Publications, (435) 797-2251; request bulletin number
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's principal scientific research agency.