Craig Dremann's TOP 100 important Great Basin plants!

These soil nutrient and organic matter thresholds are needed in order to produce 100% successful future native seeding projects. Copyright © 2018 by Craig Dremann

For the Great Basin states of most of Nevada, western half of Utah, eatern Oregon, parts of Idaho, Wyoming and California.

The Reveg Edge, P.O. Box 361, Redwood City, CA 94064
(650) 325-7333 - Email

Including plant species associated with sage-grouse
Type, Common name, Scientific name

Each species, including the exotic weeds, require a minimum nutrient and organic matter thresholds in the top two inches of soil, for their seedling's survival, as you can see at

No links = Thresholds that still need to be determined, using the Waypoint Lab A-17 soil test plus an A-19-2 organic matter test that are run from the top 2 inches of soil taken from next to seedlings of each species, and the tests run, data only, in a bar graph format.

A second soil sample is taken from bare soil within 10 feet of the first sample, to confirm the threshold levels set by the first soil sample. Each soil sample needs to be a one-quart freezer-ziplock bag full, which has been sifted through a inch mesh screen to remove any rocks or vegetation matter.

Waypoint Lab protocols and the sample form to send in with the soil samples for the A-17 and A-19-2 tests, can be downloaded at

Waypoint Lab: 4741 East Hunter Ave., Suite A, Anaheim, California 9
Phone: (714) 282-8777

The top 12 most important species to start working with and bulking out = *

X- Are exotics, that needed to be substituted, with the native plants that are currenty spatially extinct in the areas that the exotics currently occupy.

Links below, are the test results for the soil nutrient and organic matter thresholds that are needed for seedling survival for each species.

Bold = Suggested first test subjects.

! = Pseudomonas bacteria host plant, that help create the rain clouds--see Discover Magazine 2012 article

GRASSES--- (15)

Blue grama - Bouteloua spp.
Bluebunch wheatgrass
(6)- Pseudoroegneria spicata *
X - Cheatgrass (1) Bromus tectorum- Thresholds need to be pegged to plant heights.(7)
Crested Wheatgrass (1) - Agropyron cristata
Fescue native annual - Vulpa octoflora *
Fescue six weeks (5,6) - Vulpia microstachys *
Great Basin Wildrye
(6)- Elymus cinereus *
Idaho fescue (6)- Festuca idahoensis *
Indian ricegrass
(6)- Oryzopsis hymenoides
Needle and thread - Hesperostipa comata
Needlegrass Thurber's - Achnantherum thurberianum
Prairie junegrass - Koeleria macrantha
Sandberg bluegrass (6) - Poa secunda *
Squirreltail Big - Elymus multisetus
Squirreltail (6) - Elymus elymoides *

FORBS--- (64)

X- Alfalfa (1) - Medicago sativa
Broom snakeweed - Gutierrezia sarothrae
Buckwheat matted - Eriogonum caespitosum
Buckwheat oval leaf - Eriogonum ovalifolium
Buckwheat parsley desert - Eriogonum heracleoides
Buckwheat rock - Eriogonum sphaerocephalum
Buckwheat slender - Eriogonum microthecum
Buckwheat sulfur-flowered - Eriogonum umbellatum

Clarkia (5) - Clarkia pulchella
Clover Large Headed - Trifolium macrocephalum
X - Common dandelion (1,2) - Taraxacum officinale
X - Common salsify (1,2) - Tragopogon dubius
Cryptantha (5) - Cryptantha flava
Daisy Aspen - Erigeron speciosus
Daisy Basin Rayless - Erigeron aphanactis
Daisy Shaggy - Erigeron pumilus
Desert Parlsey Fernleaf - Lomatium dissectum
Desert Parlsey Gray's - Lomatium grayi
Desert Parsley Nineleaf - Lomatium triternatum
Evening primrose tufted - Oenothera caespitosa

Gold Star (5) - Crocidium multicaule
Golden Pea (5) - Thermopsis montana
Goldenweed Dwarf (5) - Haplopappus acaulis
Gumplant curly cup (6) - Grindelia squarrosa*
Hawksbeard Limestone - Crepis intermedia
Hawksbeard Tapertip - Crepis acuminata
Hawksbeard Western - Crepis occidentalis
Lupine Bigleaf - Lupinus prunophilus
Lupine Dry ground - Lupinus aridus
Lupine Foothills - Lupinus ammophilus
Lupine Jawleaf - Lupinus malacophyllus
Lupine Longspur - Lupinus arbustus
Lupine Silky - Lupinus sericeus
Lupine Silvery - Lupinus argenteus
Lupine Tallcup - Lupinus caudatus

Mariposa Lily - Calochortus macrocarpus
Microsteris (3) - Microsteris gracilis *
Milkvetch Utah (3) - Astragalus utahensis
Milkvetch Lesser Rushy (3) - Astragalus convallarius
Milkvetch Wooly Pod - Astragalus purshii

Mountain-dandelion Annual - (2) - Agoseris heterophylla
Mountain Dandelion Bigflower - (2) - Agroseris grandiflora *
Mules Ears (5) - Wyethia amplexicaulis
Oregon Sunshine (5) - Eriophyllum lanatum
Paintbrush Mountain (5) - Castilleja applegatei
Penstemon Firecracker - Penstemon eatonii
Penstemon rock - Penstemon gairdneri
Phacelia Silverleaf (5) - Phacelia hastate
Phacelia Threadleaf (5) - Phacelia linearis

Phlox Longleaf - Phlox longiflora
Plaintain Hairy (5,6) - Plantago patagonica *
Prairie Rocket (5) - Erysimum asperum
Prairie starflower - Lithophragma parviflorum
X - Prickly lettuce (1,2) - Lactuca serriola
Princes Plume (5) - Stanleya pinnata
Sego lily (2) - Calochortus nuttalli
Sunflower Wild (5,6)- Helianthus annuus *

Sweet Pea Steppe (5) - Lathyrus pauciflorus
Vetch (5) - Vicia americana
Western yarrow (2,6)- Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis
Wild Flax (5) - Linum perenne
Wild onion Douglas (5)- Allium douglasii
Yellow Bee Plant - Cleome lutea

SHRUBS--- (21)

Antelope bitterbrush - Purshia tridentata
Basin big sagebrush - Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata
Big sagebrush - Artemisia spiciformis
Big sagebrush - Artemisia tridentata ssp. xericensis
Black sagebrush - Artemisia nova

Horsebrush - Tetradymia canescens
Low sagebrush - Artemisia arbuscula ssp. arbuscula
Low sagebrush - Artemisia arbuscula ssp. thermopola
Low sagebrush - Artemisia longiloba
Mountain big sagebrush - Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana
Prairie sagewort - Artemisia frigida
Pygmy sagebrush - Artemisia pygmaea
Rabbitbrush - Chrysothamnus spp.

Sand sagebrush - Artemisia filifolia
Scabland sagebrush - Artemisia rigida
Silver sagebrush - Artemisia cana
Snowfield sagebrush - Artemisia tridentata ssp. spiciformis
Threetip sagebrush - Artemisia tripartita
Timberline sagebrush - Artemisia rothrockii
Winterfat - Eurotia lanata
Wyoming big sagebrush - Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis


(1 ) - Introduced species.
(2 ) - Especially important sage grouse food species.
(3 ) - Important sage grouse chick food species.
(4 ) - Known Pseudomonas host plants, that produce rain clouds
-- (None so far).
(5 ) - Species not yet tested by Great Basin reseachers,
I am recommending a look.
(6 ) - Known weed-fighting native plant, with strong allelochemical actions.
(7 ) - Cheatgrass thresholds, should be pegged to mature plant heights.

For example, setting the threshold for 2 inch tall cheatgrass plants, 4 inch tall plants, 8 inch tall plant, 12 inch tall plants, 16 inch tall plants, etc.

Then, those soil nutrient and organic matter thresholds that have been pegged to cheatgrass plant heights, could then be used as a rough soil-nutrient indicator. So when you see mature 2 inch tall cheatgrass, you might have very low soil nutrients, that you could confirm with a soil test. Conversely, tall cheatgrass in an area, could indicate richer soil conditions in that area.

Please note--It is unknown which Great Basin species of the following genera have been tested, so for these genera, I have made my own species recommendations for-- Clover, Desert Parlsey, Evening Primrose, Fleabane, Hawksbeard, Lupine, Milkvetch, Mountain dandelion, Phlox, and Wild onions.

PRISTINE GREAT BASIN ecosystem examples--

Madeline Plains grassland, Lassen County, California.


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Updated January 1, 2019