Previously known scientifically as Agropyron trichophorum. Pubescent Wheatgrass is strongly rhizomatous, long-lived, and drought resistant. It is an excellent forage producer and is commonly a component in dry land mixes, wildlife mixes and CRP mixes. It has been an ingredient in our Dryland Pasture Mix for decades.
‘Luna’ pubescent wheatgrass was selected from seed originating in Russia and Turkey by the Los Lunas PMC and was released by the New Mexico AES and PMC in 1963. It was selected for excellent seedling vigor, fast establishment and good forage production.
Luna is one of the most broadly adapted pubescent wheatgrasses available and performs well from the central to northern Great Plains to the northern Rockies and Sierra Nevada regions. Certified seed is available and Breeder seed is maintained by the Meeker PMC.
Pubsecent Wheatgrass is closely related to Intermediate Wheatgrass and similar in appearance except having varying degrees of pubescence throughout the plant.
‘Luna’ pubescent wheatgrass is an excellent dry-land pasture grass on the deeper soils of the upper big- sagebrush area and the scrub oak zone. It also produced more forage and seed than other strains and species on shallow, infertile soils at these elevations. The new variety needs an area where an effective portion of the annual precipitation occurs as accumulated snow. Being taller and producing more forage than crested wheatgrass, ‘Luna’ pubescent wheatgrass requires a little more moisture, but it persists and grows on less than does intermediate wheatgrass. The new variety becomes dormant during periods of summer drought and then greens up again when the rains arrive.