Submitted to: Native Plant Journal
Publication Type: Germplasm Release
Publication Acceptance Date: June 4, 2008
Publication Date: August 1, 2008
Citation: Jones, T.A. 2008. Notice of Release of 'Discovery' Snake River Wheatgrass. Native Plant Journal.
Interpretive Summary: Discovery is a multiple-origin cultivar, was jointly released by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service and the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station on December 20, 2007. The only previous release of Snake River wheatgrass is Secar (Morrison and Kelley, 1981), which was released in 1980 as a cultivar of bluebunch wheatgrass before Snake River wheatgrass was formally described. While Secar is considered to be highly drought tolerant as a mature plant, drought often reduces stand during the establishment year. Discovery may expand the use of this grass, commonly used as a surrogate for bluebunch wheatgrass in rangeland seedings. Primary beneficiaries are land management agencies, especially the Bureau of Land Management, the ranching industry, and the seed industry.
'Discovery' Snake River wheatgrass (Elymus wawawaiensis J. Carlson & Barkworth) has been released as a cultivar for use in rangeland seedings. The natural distribution of Snake River wheatgrass is limited to eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and central and northern Idaho, but it is widely used as a surrogate for bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata [Pursh] A. Love) in temperate portions of the Intermountain Region.