Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Mutton grass

Bunchy growth habit, erect stalks, and panicles

Mutton grass is a perennial bunchgrass that is rated as excellent forage for cattle and horses. It is also good forage for sheep, elk, and deer. During the winter, seedheads are eaten by pronghorn antelope. Seeds and leaves are also utilized by birds.

The fibrous root system of this species reaches a depth of approximately 10 inches, providing good surface erosion control in arid sites.

It can be used to restore areas where juniper encroachment has depleted the herbaceous understory following juniper removal. The species is drought tolerant and has potential for use in restoration and native plant diversification projects.

Close-up showing reddish-green seeds on a spikelet
Bunch growth habit
Bunch growth habit with a nice view of the somewhat spreading structure of the panicles
Spikelet with distinctive arrangement of seeds in a tight formation

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