E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) Á. Löve
bluebunch wheatgrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Reg Newman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #12183)

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Distribution of Pseudoroegneria spicata
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots, often forming clumps up to 150 cm wide; stems 60-130 cm tall, erect, slender, green or glaucous.
Mostly stem leaves; sheaths usually smooth or minutely hairy, the hairs pointed downward; blades 1-4 mm wide, flat to loosely in-rolled, usually smooth below, short-hairy above, rarely hairy on both surfaces; ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases well-developed; ligules scarcely 1 mm long, minutely ragged and fringed.
Inflorescence a spike, 8-16 mm long, middle internodes 0.8-2.5 cm apart; spikelets 5- to 8-flowered, mostly 1 spikelet per node; glumes 6-15 mm long, 0.9-2.2 mm wide, nerves evenly smooth or rough; lemmas 10-14 mm long, nerved, awned or unawned, the awns 0-20 mm long.
Awned and unawned specimens differ by a single gene, a difference that some taxonomists (Barkworth 1994) feel does not merit separate taxonomic recognition. Most BC plants are unawned. A key to the two forms follows:

1. Lemmas awned, 10-20 mm long, widely divergent........................... ssp. Spicata

1. Lemmas unawned or nearly so, 0-2 mm long, straight ............................ssp. inermis (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) A. Love

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry, open grasslands, shrublands, rocky slopes and forest openings in the steppe and montane zones; common in SC and SE BC, rare elsewhere in BC; N to AK and YT, E to MB and S to TX, NM, AZ and NE CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Pseudoroegneria spicata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 170 863 2400
Slope Gradient (%) 0 33 360
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 198 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(9), BG(829), BWBS(4), ESSF(97), ICH(128), IDF(1520), MS(202), PP(624), SBPS(12), SBS(9)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References