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Plants & Animals

Highlights - Plant Materials Program

Bozoisky - Select Russian Wildrye (Achnatherum hymenoides)

Plant Accession Data

  • accession: PI 440627
  • cultivar: Bozoisky-Select
  • common name: Russian Wildrye
  • NLSPN plant symbol: PSJU
  • scientific name: Psathyrosthachys juncea, (Fisch.) Nevski
  • selecting PMC: ARS, Logan




  • MLRA: 32 to 44, 52 to 67
  • minimum temperature: - 40F
  • precipitation: 8 to 16
  • soil drainage: well drained
  • soil texture: loam and clay
  • salinity tolerance: moderate
  • soil pH: 7 to 8
  • elevation: 7,500 feet in north to 9,000 feet in southern adaptive range.


  • plant type: grass
  • seeds/pound: 170,000
  • growth form: upright
  • mode of reproduction: wind
  • growth habit: bunch
  • percent outcrossing: mainly outcrossed
  • mature height (ft): leaves .5 to 1.5
  • photosynthetic pathway: C3
  • growing period: cool season

Other Information

The extensive fibrous roots may penetrate to a depth of 10 feet, with 75 percent of the total root mass concentrated in the surface 6 inches. This dense root system restricts most other plant species, including annual grasses, and, depending on available soil moisture, naturally spaced Russian wildrye plants.

Method of Selection

Breeding was subjected to two cycles of selection for improved vigor, leafiness, seed yield, coleoptile length, and seedling vigor. Breeder seed was obtained from bulking open-pollinated seed of 23 clones selected from a nursery consisting of 2,100 second-cycle plants.

Proposed Uses

Bozoisky-select adds substantial flexibility to a grazing management program. It is an excellent source of forage during the spring and summer. Spring green-up is almost as early as crested wheatgrass. In addition, Bozoisky-select's dense, basal leaves retain their greenness and nutritive value longer during the summer than many cool-season range grasses. Russian wildrye is very tolerant of grazing and regrows quickly after clipping.

Although grazing can continue from early spring to winter, it is best to graze lightly in the spring, and save the regrowth for late summer and fall grazing. It remains palatable and of adequate nutritive quality for mature stock on winter maintenance rations. Yields have been increased by the use of alternate-row seeding with legumes. Once established, alfalfa is able to root deeper than Russian wildrye, avoiding the intense competitiveness of this grass.

Planting Information

Seeding Rate

Four (4) pure live seed pounds per acre in pure stands with a minimum of 18-inch row spacing.

Culture and Establishment

Russian wildrye characteristically has relatively poor seedling vigor and is more difficult to establish than most other introduced forage grasses. Boziosky-select was selected for improved seedling vigor and is definitely an improvement over other Russian wildrye cultivars. It is important to prepare a firm, weed-free seedbed, and preferably use a double-disk drill with packer wheels to place seed at the optimum one-half-inch seeding depth. Seed should be drilled in rows at least 18 inches apart and on the contour. On droughty sites, row spacings of up to 42 inches have been used. Seeding can be done either in the late fall (dormant) or early spring.


In accordance with applicable standards and specifications as stated in Section IV of the Field Office Technical Guide.

Planting Size

Five (5) acre maximum for each entry.

Standard of Comparison
  • 'Vinall' Russian wildrye
  • 'Swift' Russian wildrye
  • 'Mankota' Russian wildrye
Evaluation Duration

First five years and tenth year following establishment.

1 Field office location managed by the respective Area Plant Materials Committees.