Jose Tall Wheatgrass

Scientific Name

Agropyron elgongatum (Host) P. Beauv.

Short Description

'Jose' ,a variety of  Tall  wheatgrasses, also called Rush wheatgrass, is a cool-season bunchgrass adapted to a wide range of soils and climates.  'Jose' is best known for being one of the most saline or alkali tolerant of the cultivated grasses.


Tall wheatgrass is a cool-season long-lived perennial bunchgrass originating from Turkey in 1909 and now is found throughout most of the western United States. 'Jose' ranges in height from 3 feet to as much as 6 feet under the most ideal conditions. It is recommended in areas with an annual precipitation of more than 14 inches. One of  the strongest characteristics of 'Jose' is it's ability to thrive in very wet, alkaline soils such as greasewood and saltgrass sites where the water table is from a few inches to several feet below ground surface. It has been cited to withstand as much as 1% soluble salts and increase production yields with salinity levels of 6000 to 18,000  ppm.  'Jose' is a late maturing grass enabling the producer to extend the grazing period over winter annual small grains. 'Jose' can be planted with the typical grain drill or broadcast with a spreader. 'Jose' responds favorably to the addition of nitrogen fertilizer and is most palatable during the early spring months.  'Jose' forage is best suited for maintaining mature animals since it produces a consistent quantity of forage, but generally not sufficient quality for stocker or growing animals without protein supplementation.

Taxonomy of Jose Tall Wheatgrass

 Kingdom  Plantae
 Subkingdom     Tracheobionta
 Superdivision  Spermatophyta
 Division     Magnoliophyta
 Class  Lillosida
 Subclass  Commelinidae
 Order      Cyperales
 Family     Poaceae
 Genus    Agropyron
 Species  Agropyron elongatum (Host) P. Beauv.

Plant Characteristics of Jose Tall Wheatgrass

 Height 36 to 72 inches
 Growth habit                         bunchgrass
 Bloom period         mid summer
 Sun requirement                  full sun to partial shade
 Leaf foilage color bluish-green
 Seeds per pound       
 Minimum soil temperature for germination      
 Soil pH range    
 Planting Rate     1 lb/2000 sq ft;15 PLS lbs/acre
 Planting Depth     1/2 inch on clay; 3/4 inch on sand
 Planting Season Late summer, early fall

Use of Jose Tall Wheatgrass


Jose Tall Wheatgrass is used extensively for hay and pasture in the central Great Plains. It produces high yields with moderately good quality, but typically does not have the quality of the other wheatgrasses.  The best forage option for "white" or alkaline, salty ground.

Soil Erosion

Jose Tall Wheatgrass is often used along roadsides, in waterways, and other critical areas especially in high alkaline conditions where less tolerant grasses fail.


Provides nesting cover for some upland game birds.