Alkali Sacaton

(Sporobolus airoides)

Alkali Sacaton is a vigorous, coarse, perennial native bunchgrass that occurs throughout the western and southwestern part of the United States. This warm-season grass is commonly found on moist, saline or alkaline soils especially in low lying or flooded areas and valleys. Normally, the stands of pure Alkali Sacaton have a distinctive tufted or bunchy appearance. Its major distribution is in the tall-grass prairie of the Central States and along the eastern edge of the Great Plains. 

Alkali Sacaton can reach heights of 2- 4 feet tall under favorable soil and moisture conditions. Leaf blades are about 2-18 inches long and approximately 1/4 inch wide. The leaves may be hairy near the base, and the sheaths are usually hairy. The flowering stalks are stout, coarse, and solid; the stalks of most other grasses are hollow. The extensive root system penetrates deeply. The grass grows well on most soil types but is most abundant on moist, well-drained soils. 

The abundant, leafy forage is palatable to all classes of livestock when it is green and vegetative. However, as it matures palatability is drastically reduced. As standing forage for winter grazing Alkali Sacaton provides very poor quality forage. 

Seedlings should be made on a well-prepared, firm seedbed free from weeds. Seeding rates of 1 – 2 pure live seed pounds per acre have given excellent results. Full protection during the period of establishment is necessary; weeds should be mowed to lessen the competition for water, sun, and nutrients.

Alkali Sacation
Alkali Sacation

General Characteristics

Growth Type:Bunch
Life Span:Perennial
Growing Season:Warm Season
Native/Introduced:Native
Plant Height:2-4 feet
Cold Tolerance:Fair
Drought Tolerance:Good
Salt Tolerance:Excellent
Soil Type:Loam - Clay
Minimum Rainfall:10 inches
Planting Rate:1-2 pls
Planting Date:Feb. - June
Seed Type:Hard
Uses:Grazing
Wildlife Habitat
Erosion Control
Reclamation