Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Ricegrass, Indian
(a.k.a. Oryzopsis hymenoides, Stipa hymenoides)

Panicle with delicate stems and single seeds at the end of each branch

Indian ricegrass is a cool season, native bunchgrass with many tightly rolled, slender leaves growing from the base of the bunch. The nutritious seeds of Indian ricegrass have a long history as a staple food.

Indian ricegrass is highly palatable to livestock and wildlife. It is a preferred feed for cattle, horses, and elk in all seasons. It is considered a preferred feed for sheep, deer, and antelope in spring, and a desirable feed for sheep, deer, and antelope in late fall and winter. It reaches its peak production from mid-June through mid-July. It holds its nutrient value well at maturity.

Indian ricegrass is very winter hardy and has a broad climatic adaptation. It can be found at elevations from 2,000 to 10,000 feet. It grows best in areas with average annual precipitation of 8 inches to 14 inches.

Delicate, open panicles and bunch growth habit
Panicle with delicate branches tipped with seeds that look like grains of rice

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