Ground Cover

ARROWLEAF BALSAMROOT (BALSAMORHIZE SAGITTATA)
Habitat: Shrub-steppe, grasslands, and other open areas at lower elevations.

General: Large perennial herb from a taproot.

Leaves: All basal, large with broad or cordate bases, densely grayish hairy.

Flowers: Heads solitary; top of peduncle and lower part of involucre strongly white-woolly; rays 8-25, 2.5-4 cm. long.

Fruit: Achene glabrous.
INDIAN PAINTBRUSH (CASTILLIJA MINIATA)
Fruit: Samaras 2.5-3 cm. long, the wings not divergent.

General: Perennial herb to 80 cm tall; stems in small clusters, often branched above.

Leaves: Simple, narrow with pointed tip; inflorescence leaves and bracts bright red, sometimes with a few small lobes.

Flowers: Inconspicuous, greenish, tubular flowers, surrounded by a much showier bright red calyx and inflorescence bracts.

Fruit: 2-celled capsules with many seeds.

Distinguishing Characteristics: A few traits to look for include the narrow unlobed leaves; bright red inflorescence; sharply pointed calyx lobes, and greenish flowers much longer than calyx. Castilleja is a difficult genus; consult technical keys.
BLUE BUNCH WHEATGRASS (AGROPYRON SPICATUM)
Habitat: From the plains to mid-elevations in the mountains.

General: Tufted perennial, the culms hollow, erect, usually glabrous, 4-10 dm. tall, often forming clumps 1.5 dm. broad.

Leaves: Sheaths open, usually glabrous; auricles well-developed; ligules scarcely 1 mm. long; blades usually flat, 1.5-3 mm. broad, usually glabrous on the back and puberulent on the front; leaves numerous.

Flowers: Inflorescence a loose, open spike 8-15 cm. long; spikelets usually 1 per node, from slightly longer to shorter than the internode, 6- to 8-flowered; glumes 7-9 mm. long, narrowly oblong, 4-5 nerved, sometimes awn-tipped; lemmas 8-11 mm. long, awnless, or with a divergent awn up to 2 cm. long; paleas rounded, slightly exceeding the lemma; anthers purplish.
LUPINE (LUPINUS ARBUSTUS)
This is a perennial herb growing erect to a maximum of 70 centimeters tall. It is sometimes hairy in texture. Each palmate leaf is made up of 7 to 13 leaflets each up to 7 centimeters long. The inflorescence is up to 18 centimeters long, bearing whorls of flowers each up to 1.4 centimeters long. The calyx of sepals around the base of the corolla has a knoblike spur at the back. The flower corolla is white to yellow to various shades of purple or pink. The fruit is a hairy legume pod 2 or 3 centimeters long. There are several subspecies
KINNIKINNICK (ARCTOSTAPHYLOS UVA-URSI)
Mature Height 12" An evergreen groundcover that prefers poor, sandy soils. Small, glossy green leaves grow on reddish barked stems. Pinkish, urn-shaped flowers in spring followed by red berries in the fall that attract birds. Generally likes full sun but can be damaged by excessive summer heat. Moderately drought resistant. Slow to establish, but eventually forms a thick mat. Space 3' apart.
THICKSPIKE WHEATGRASS (ELYMUS LANCEOLATUS)
Growth Characteristics: Thickspike wheatgrass is a long-lived, sod-forming grass that reproduces from rhizomes and by seed. Its stems are erect, smooth and 12–50 inches tall. It flowers from June through August.
GREAT BASIN WILDRYE (ELYMUS CINEREUS)
Habitat: Sagebrush-steppe, arid grasslands, forest edges, and other dry, open areas in the intermountain west.

General: Tufted perennial with short rhizomes, the culms puberulent, 1-2 m. tall in clumps up to 1 m. broad.

Leaves: Sheaths open; auricles well-developed on some leaves; ligules 3-7 mm. long, puberulent; blades flat, 10-20 mm. broad, very tough, scabrous.

Flowers: Inflorescence a terminal, stiff spike 12-20 cm. long, the spike sometimes compound; spikelets usually 3 per node, often one or more pedicillate; spikelets 4- to 6-flowered; glumes narrow, tapered from the base, 10-20 mm. long; lemmas 10-15 mm. long usually with awns 2-7 mm. long; paleas about equal to the lemmas.