Alberta Range Plants and Their Classification

 
 
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 Using this factsheet | Definitions | Grasses | Grass-like plants | Forbs | Shrubs | Trees

Alberta rangelands consist of native and introduced plant species that exist in plant communities. These lands are made up of grasses, sedges, forbs, shrubs and even trees. Rangelands provide an important source of forages for domestic and native animals as well as protection to the soil and watersheds.

Specific to the plant species found in a particular area at any point in time, plant communities group various population sizes of plants occurring together on the landscape. These communities are managed in pastures, grazing reserves and ranches as range ecosystems, which are complex collections of living and non-living (biotic and abiotic) parts that interconnect with each other within the rangeland environment.

This complex network of individual biotic and abiotic entities works together cohesively as a single unit. This unit functions as a continuum of cause-and-effect relationships that is never ending as long as the ecosystem can support life in any form. If one part of this unit is affected, the whole network and every individual part within it is affected as well.

Rangeland environments and range ecosystems are inherently complex. However, they are largely based on individual plants that are important as forage for livestock and herbivorous wildlife. To maintain the site stability, stand longevity and structural integrity of their communities, range managers must know these plants and their various structural and habitual characteristics.

Using this factsheet

In this factsheet, each range plant species is shown under two names: a common (English) name and a scientific (Latin or Greek) name. This presentation is so that the plants can be sorted into the various taxonomic genera, families and classes based on that species’ unique physical characteristic[s] and to help managers find more information on that particular plant. See the tables later in this factsheet.

Because a plant can have several different common names in different parts of the province or country, the scientific name helps pinpoint the identity of that plant more accurately, especially if it is discussed among range managers all over the globe.

Range plants can also be grouped based on various characteristics like plant type, lifespan, origin, response to grazing (or other disturbances like fire and drought) and forage value. In the “Definitions” section below, Plant type groups various species with similar physical characteristics to define them as grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, shrubs or trees.

Also in the section below, a plant’s life span, noted as an annual, biennial or a perennial, determines the longevity of a plant. Origin refers to plants indigenous to North America or that have been introduced recently from other continents. Plants with varying responses to grazing are grouped as decreasers, increasers or invaders.

Finally, forage value, grouped as good, fair, poor and/or poisonous, is determined by palatability (acceptance by grazing animals based on taste), nutritional value and abundance for grazing. Poisonous plants are deemed as such if they contain toxins harmful to grazing animals.

Range plants can also be classified according to what part of the growing season they tend to grow best in. Most of the plants listed in this publication show a “cool season” response where the major portion of their growth occurs during spring and early summer when temperatures range from 18°C to 24°C. Some plants, including blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and red three-awn (Aristida purpurea var. longiseta), are classed as “warm season” plants because they grow slowly during the early part of the season, but grow best in late spring and summer when temperatures range from 32°C to 35°C.

Definition of plant characteristics

Plant type

Grasses - herbaceous plants with narrow, long, parallel-veined leaves and hollow, jointed stems. Spikes of small seeds borne between two scales are found at the top portion of these stems.

Grass-like plants – look very similar to grasses but have solid stems (not hollow) that are often three-sided and not jointed. Leaves are no different from grasses. These are made up of sedges and rushes.

Forbs – herbaceous, broad-leaved plants with annual tops and leaves with net-like veins (range weeds and flowers).

Shrubs – woody, often deciduous perennials with stems that live over the winter and branch out from near the base or at ground level.

Trees – woody, single-stemmed perennial plants that reach a mature height of at least 3 metres.

Life span

Annual plants – live only for one growing season. They do not come up a second year from roots or a crown but rather from seeds deposited by a parent plant.

Biennial plants – require two years to complete life cycle. Vegetative growth is focused during the first year, then in the second year, flowering, fruit production and death.

Perennial plants – live and reproduce year after year, producing leaves, stems and flowers for more than two years from the same root system.

Origin

Native plants – those plants that are indigenous to North America.

Introduced plants – plants that have been brought in from outside North America in the last few centuries and are not usually present in the original plant community.

Response to grazing

Grazing response - the reaction a species has to continuous defoliation, usually by grazing and hoof damage. Soil type, moisture levels and climate ultimately affect the response to defoliation for any one species. Where a species is a primary decreaser in one environmental condition, it may become an increaser in a different environmental situation. (Note that the response of plants to defoliation is not limited to grazing animals. The response is also related to the effects of fire, insect damage and drought.) Types of range plants responses are grouped as follows:

  • Decreasers – plant species of an original or climax plant community that decrease in relative amount with continued disturbances, such as heavy grazing. These plants may be either highly palatable, being continually sought out by grazing animals and often the first ones to be defoliated throughout the growing season, or they may lack certain physical characteristics that would otherwise help them in their recovery.
  • lncreasers – plant species of an original plant community that will increase in relative amount for period of time under continued disturbances such as heavy grazing. Increasers will generally take over the community. Increaser plants are typically those adapted to heavy defoliation because they grow close to the ground and possess physiological attributes that allow them to recover quickly from grazing and hoof damage. They may also be less palatable and therefore less desirable to grazing animals. Such plants need to be monitored since they are a sign of heavy grazing (such as high intensity, high frequency grazing) and can increase in abundance beyond what is acceptable. Overuse, however, can cause even these plant types to decrease in the community.
  • Invaders – commonly are weedy plants that have established themselves in a plant community because the more desirable species have died out from heavy grazing and trampling. A high proportion of invader species is generally a sign of excessive grazing pressure; however, some noxious range weeds such as leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) and even aspen poplar (Populus tremuloides) are capable of invading healthy range ecosystems.
Forage values

Forage value – is determined by palatability, nutritional quality and abundance (biomass in terms of lb/acre of plant material) for livestock. Nutritive value ultimately depends on the type of animal consuming that plant and its stage of growth (i.e., immature vegetative vs. mature dormant). Classification of range forage value is as follows:
  • Good – plants are nutritious, highly palatable and tend to produce abundant forage in their original community.
  • Fair – plants are very likely to produce adequate nutrients when consumed; however, they may not have substantial palatability or do not produce an abundance of forage in their original community.
  • Poor – plants that lack adequate nutrients for the grazing animal. Also, most plants that contain anti-nutritional factors that cause reduced intake or possible illness are also classed as having “poor” forage value.
  • Poisonous – plants classed as “poor” quality forage due to compounds or toxins that cause illness or death of grazing animals.

Grasses

Common nameScientific nameLife spanOriginGrazing responseForage value
Alkali cord grassSpartina gracilisPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Alpine timothyPhleum alpinumPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Awned wheatgrassAgropyron trachycaulum var. unilateralePerennialNativeIncreaserGood
Bearded wheatgrassElymus caninusPerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
Bluebunch wheatgrassAgropyron spicatumPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Blue gramaBouteloua gracilisPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
California oat grassDanthonia californicaPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
Canada bluegrassPoa compressaPerennialIntroducedlnvaderGood
Canada wild ryeElymus canadensisPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Canby bluegrassPoa canbyiPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
Cheat grass/downy bromeBromus tectorumAnnualIntroducedlnvaderPoor
Columbian needle grassStipa columbianaPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Common reedPhragmites australisPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
Creeping red fescueFestuca rubraPerennialIntroducedlnvaderGood
Crested wheatgrassAgropyron pectiniformePerennialIntroducedlnvaderGood
Early bluegrassPoa cusickiiPerennialNativelncreaserGood
False melicSchizachne purpurascensPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Foothills rough fescueFestuca campestrisPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Fowl bluegrassPoa palustrisPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Fowl manna grassGlyceria striataPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Foxtail barleyHordeum jubatumPerennialNativelnvaderPoor
Fringed bromeBromus ciliatusPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Giant wild ryeElymus piperiPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
Green needle grassStipa viridulaPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Hairy wild ryeElymus innovatusPerennialNativelncreaserGood
Hooker’s oat grassHelictotrichon hookeriPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
Idaho fescueFestuca idahoensisPerennialNativelncreaserGood
Indian rice grassOryzopsis hymenoidesPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Intermediate oat grassDanthonia intermediaPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
Intermediate wheatgrassAgropyron intermediumPerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
June grassKoeleria macranthaPerennialNativelncreaserGood
Kentucky bluegrassPoa pratensisPerennialIntroducedlnv./Intro’dGood
Little bluestemSchizachyrium scopariumPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
BluejointCalamagrostis canadensisPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
Mat muhlyMuhlenbergia richardsonisPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Meadow bromeBromus biebersteiniiPerennialIntroducedInvaderFair
Meadow fescueFestuca pratensisPerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
Meadow foxtailAlopecurus pratensisPerennialIntroducedInvaderFair
Mountain bromeBromus carinatusPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Needle-and-thread grassHesperostipa comataPerennialNativelncreaserGood
Northern awnless bromeBromus inermis var. pumpellianusPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Northern manna grassGlyceria borealisPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Northern reed grassCalamagrostis inexpansaPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
Northern wheatgrassAgropyron dasystachyumPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Nuttall’s alkali grassPuccinellia nuttallianaPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Orchard grassDactylis glomerataPerennialIntroducedlnvaderGood
Parry oat grassDanthonia parryiPerennialNativelncreaserGood
Pine grassCalamagrostis rubescensPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Plains muhlyMuhlenbergia cuspidataPerennialNativelncreaserFair
Plains reed grassCalamagrostis montanensisPerennialNativelncreaserFair
Plains rough fescueFestuca halliiPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Purple reed grassCalamagrostis purpurascensPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Quack grassElytrigia repensPerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
Red three-awnAristida purpurascens var. longisetaPerennialNativeInvaderPoor
RedtopAgrostis stoloniferaPerennialIntroducedInvaderFair
Reed canary grassPhalaris arundinaceaPerennialNative/Intro’dIncreaser/InvaderGood
Richardson needle grassStipa richardsoniiPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Rocky mountain fescueFestuca saximontanaPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
Russian wild ryeElymus junceusPerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
Salt grassDistichlis strictaPerennialIntroducedlncreaserPoor
Sand dropseedSporobolus cryptandrusPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
Sandberg bluegrassPoa sandbergiiPerennialNativelncreaserGood
Sand grassCalamovilfa longifoliaPerennialNativelncreaserFair
Sheep fescueFestuca ovinaPerennialIntroducedIncreaserGood
Six weeks fescueVulpia octofloraPerennialNativelncreaserFair
Slender wheatgrassElymus trachycaulusPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Slough grassBeckmannia syzigachnePerennialNativelncreaserGood
Smooth wild ryeElymus glaucusPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Smooth bromeBromus inermisPerennialIntroducedlnvaderGood
Spike trisetumTrisetum spicatumPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
Sweet grassHierochloe odorataPerennialNativelncreaserFair
Tall fescueFestuca elatiorPerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
Tall manna grassGlyceria grandisPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Tickle grassAgrostis scabraPerennialNativelnvaderFair
TimothyPhleum pratensePerennialIntroducedlnvaderGood
Tufted hair grassDeschampsia caespitosaPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Tumble grassSchedonnardus paniculatusPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Water foxtailAlopecurus aequalisPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Western porcupine grassStipa curtisetaPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Western wheatgrassPascopyrum smithiiPerennialNativelncreaserGood
White-grained mountain rice grassOryzopsis asperifoliaPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
Woodland bluegrassPoa interiorPerennialNativeDecreaserGood


Grass-like Plants

Common nameScientific nameLife spanOriginGrazing responseForage value
Alpine rushJuncus alpinoarticulatusPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Atrosquama sedgeCarex atrosquamaPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Awned sedgeCarex atherodesPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Baltic rushJuncus balticusPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Beaked sedgeCarex rostrataPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Blunt sedgeCarex obtusataPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Brownish sedgeCarex brunnescensPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Creeping spike rushEleocharis palustrisPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Elk sedgeCarex geyeriPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Field/graceful sedgeCarex praegracilisPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
Golden sedgeCarex aureaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Hair-like sedgeCarex capillarisPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Hay sedgeCarex siccataPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Hood’s sedgeCarex hoodiiPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
KobresiaKobresia myosuroidesPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Long-bracted sedgeCarex athrostachyaPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Low sedgeCarex eleocharisPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Meadow sedgeCarex praticolaPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Mud rushJuncus tracyiPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Raymond sedgeCarex raymondiiPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Ross’ sedgeCarex rossiiPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Rush-like sedgeCarex scirpoideaPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Small-flowered woodrushLuzula parvifloraPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Sprengel’s sedgeCarex sprengeliiPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
Sun-loving sedgeCarex pensylvanicaPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
Thick-spike sedgeCarex micropteraPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Thread leaf sedgeCarex filifoliaPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
Water sedgeCarex aquatilisPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Woolly sedgeCarex lanuginosaPerennialNativeIncreaserGood


Forbs

Common nameScientific nameLife spanOriginGrazing responseForage value
AbsintheArtemesia absinthiumPerennialIntroducedInvaderPoor
AlfalfaMedicago sativaPerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
Alpine milk vetchAstragalus alpinusPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
AlumrootHeuchera richardsoniiPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
American milk vetchAstragalus americanusPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
American vetchVicia americanaPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Ascending purple milk vetchAstragalus striatusPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
ArnicasArnica spp.PerennialNativelncreaserPoor
AsterAster spp.PerennialNativelncreaserFair
Baby’s-breathGypsophila paniculataPerennialIntroducedInvaderPoor
Ball-head sandwortArenaria congestaPerennialNativelnvaderPoor
Balsam-rootBalsamorhiza sagittataPerennialNativelncreaserFair
BaneberryActaea rubraPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor and poisonous
Bastard toad-flaxComandra umbellataPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Beard-tonguePenstemon spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Bird’s-foot trefoilLotus corniculatusPerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
Black medickMedicago lupulinaPerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
Blazing starLiatris spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
BluebellCampanula rotundifoliaPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Blue-eyed grassSisyrinchium montanumPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
BroomweedGutierrezia sarothraePerennialNativeIncreaserPoor and poisonous
Buffalo bean/golden beanThermopsis rhombifoliaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Buttercup/crowfootRanunculus spp.PerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Canada anemoneAnemone canadensisPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Canada milk vetchAstragalus canadensisPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Canada thistleCirsium arvensePerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
Cicer milk vetchAstragalus cicerPerennialIntroducedIncreaserGood
CinquefoilPotentilla spp.PerennialNativelncreaserPoor
CloverTrifolium spp.PerennialIntroducedlncreaserGood
Common horsetailEquisetum arvensePerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Common nettleUrtica dioicaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Common peppergrassLepidium densiflorumAnnualNativeInvaderPoor
Common scouring rushEquisetum hyemalePerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Common tansyTanacetum vulgarePerennialIntroducedInvaderPoor
Common yarrowAchillea millefoliumPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Corydalis/touch-me-notCorydalis & Impatiens spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Cow parsnipHeracleum lanatumPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Cream-coloured pea vineLathyrus ochroleucusPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Cut-leaved anemoneAnemone multifidaPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
DandelionTaraxacum officinalePerennialIntroducedlnvaderFair
Death camasZigadenus venenosusPerennialNativelncreaserPoor and poisonous
Dock/sorrel/wild begoniaRumex spp.PerennialNativeInvader/IncreaserPoor
Dotted blazing starLiatris punctataPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Drummond milk vetchAstragalus drummondiiPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Early blue violetViola aduncaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
False dandelionAgoseris glaucaPerennialNativelncreaserFair
False helleboreVeratrum eschscholtziiPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor and poisonous
Field chickweedCerastium arvensePerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Fireweed/willow-herbEpilobium spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserFair
FleabaneErigeron spp.PerennialNativelncreaserPoor
GaillardiaGaillardia aristataPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
GeraniumGeranium spp.PerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Goat’s-beardTragopogon dubiusBiennialIntroducedlnvaderPoor
GoldenrodSolidago spp.PerennialNativelnvaderPoor
Ground plumAstragalus crassicarpusPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
GumweedGrindelia squarrosaBiennialNativelncreaserPoor
Hairy golden asterHeterotheca villosaPerennialNativelncreaserFair
HawksbeardCrepis spp.PerennialNativeDecreaserFair
HawkweedHieracium spp.PerennialNativeDecreaserGood
HedysarumHedysarum spp.PerennialNativelncreaserFair
Indian milk vetchAstragalus aboriginumPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
KnapweedCentaurea spp.BiennialIntroducedlnvaderPoor
Lamb’s-quartersChenopodium albumIntroducedAnnuallnvaderPoor
LarkspursDelphinium spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor and poisonous
Leafy spurgeEuphorbia esulaPerennialIntroducedlnvaderPoor and poisonous
Little clubmossSelaginella densaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
LocoweedOxytropis spp.PerennialNativelncreaserPoor and poisonous
Long-leaved chickweedStellaria longifoliaPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
LupineLupinus spp.PerennialNativelncreaserPoor and poisonous
Meadow rueThalictrum spp.PerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Missouri milk vetchAstragalus missouriensisPerennialNativeIncreaerFair
Moss phloxPhlox hoodiiPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Narrow-leaved milk vetchAstragalus pectinatusPerennialNativelncreaserPoor and poisonous
Narrow-leaved wormwoodArtemisia dracunculusPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Northern bedstrawGalium borealePerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Northern gentianGentianella amarellaAnnual / BiennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Ox-eye daisyChrysanthemum leucanthemumPerennialIntroducedInvaderPoor
Paint-brushCastilleja spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Pasture sageArtemesia frigidaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
PlantainPlantago spp.AnnualNativeIncreaserPoor
Prairie cloversPetalestemon spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Prairie cone-flowerRatibida columniferaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Prairie crocusAnemone patensPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Prairie onionAllium textilePerennialNativelncreaserFair
Prairie sageArtemisia ludovicianaPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Purple milk vetchAstragalus dasyglottisPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Purple pea vine Lathyrus venosusPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Pussy-toes/everlastingAntennaria spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Prostrate pigweedAmaranthus graecizansAnnualNativelnvaderPoor
Rock cressArabis spp.BiennialNativeIncreasersPoor
Russian thistleSalsola kaliAnnualIntroducedlnvaderPoor
SainfoinOnybrychis viciifoliaPerennialIntroducedInvaderGood
Scarlet mallowSphaeralcea coccineaPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Scentless chamomileMatricaria perforataPerennialIntroducedInavderPoor
Seaside arrow-grassTriglochin maritimaPerennialNativelncreaserPoor and poisonous
Showy milkweedAsclepias speciosaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor and poisonous
Silver saltbushAtriplex argenteaAnnualNativeIncreaserFair
Slender milk vetchAstragalus flexuosusPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Sow thistleSonchus spp.PerennialIntroducedInvaderFair
Spiny ironplantHaplopappus spinulosusPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Star-flowered solomon’s sealSmilacina stellataPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Sticky geraniumGeranium viscosissimumPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Strawberry bliteChenopodium capitatumAnnualIntroducedInvaderPoor
Sweet cloverMelilotus spp.BiennialIntroducedlnvaderGood; mature plants become poor
Three-flowered avens
(old man’s whiskers)Geum triflorumPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Timber milk vetchAstragalus miserPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor and poisonous
TumbleweedAmaranthus albusAnnualNativeInvaderPoor
Water hemlockCicuta maculataPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor and poisonous
Water parsnipSium suavePerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Water smartweedPolygonum amphibiumPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Wavy-leaved thistleCirsium undulatumPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Western Canada violetViola canadensisPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Western wood lilyLilium philadelphicumPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
White camasZigadenus elegansPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor and poisonous
Wild blue flaxLinum lewisiiPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Wild licoriceGlycyrrhiza lepidotaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Wild strawberryFragaria virginiataPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Yellow umbrella plantEriogonum flavumPerennialNativelncreaserPoor

Shrubs

Common nameScientific nameLife spanOriginGrazing responseForage value
AlderAlnus spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Ball/pincushion cactusCoryphantha vivaparaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Buckbrush/wolfberrySymphoricarpos occidentalisPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Bush cranberryViburnum spp.PerennialNativeDecreaserFair
Canada buffalo-berryShepherdia canadensisPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Choke cherryPrunus virginianaPerennialNativeDecreaserFair but young leaves poisonous
Currants/gooseberryRibes spp.PerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Dwarf/bog/water birchBetula spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserFair
GreasewoodSarcobatus vermiculatusPerennialNativeIncreaserFair but Poisonous
HoneysuckleLoticera spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
JuniperJuniperus spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Kinnikinnick/bearberryArctostaphylos uva-ursiPerennialNativelncreaserFair
Mountain mapleAcer glabrumPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Oregon grape (creeping mahonia)Berberis repensPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Pin cherryPrunus pensylvanicaPerennialNativeDecreaserFair
Prickly pear cactusOpuntia spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Rabbit-brush Chrysothamnus nauseosusPerennialNativeInvaderPoor and poisonous
Red osier dogwoodCornus stoloniferaPerennialNativeIncreaserGood
RosesRosa spp.PerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Salt sage/Nuttall’s atriplexAtriplex nuttalliiPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
SaskatoonAmelanchier alnifoliaPerennialNativeDecreaserGood
Shrubby cinquefoilPotentilla fruticosaPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Silver-berry/wolf willowElaeagnus commutataPerennialNativelncreaserFair
Thorny buffalo-berryShepherdia argenteaPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
SagebrushArtemisia canaPerennialNativelncreaserFair
Skunk-bushRhus trilobataPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
SnowberrySymphoricarpos albusPerennialNativelncreaserPoor
Western mountain ashSorbus scopulinaPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
Wild raspberryRubus idaeusPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
WillowsSalix spp.PerennialNativelncreaserFair
Winter fatEurotia lanataPerennialNativeDecreaserGood

Trees

Common nameScientific nameLife spanOriginGrazing responseForage value
Aspen poplarPopulus tremuloidesPerennialNativeIncreaser/InvaderFair
Balsam poplar/cottonwoodsPopulus spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
Paper/white birchBetula papyriferaPerennialNativeIncreaserFair
PinesPinus spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
SprucePicea spp.PerennialNativeIncreaserPoor
TamarakLatrix laricinaPerennialNativeIncreaserPoor

References:
Tannas, K.
Common Plants of the Western Rangelands, Volumes 1 - 3. Alberta Agriculture.

Prepared by:
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

More information, contact:
Alberta Ag-Info Centre
Call toll free: 310-FARM (3276)
Website: agriculture.alberta.ca

Source: Agdex 134/30-1, 30-2,30-3.
 
 
 
 
For more information about the content of this document, contact Duke.
This information published to the web on April 1, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 24, 2016.