Canada wild rye, Canadian wildrye, Prairie wildrye, Nodding wildrye
Poaceae (Grass Family)
The erect or arching stems of this cool-seaon, short-lived perennial
grow 2-4 ft. tall. Terminal, spike-shaped seedheads of oat-like seeds with long, bristly
awns, cause the stems to bend and droop.
Canada wild rye establishes easily, providing quick initial cover. It is a versatile, cool-season plant, requiring little to no maintenance. It displays heavy, whiskery, nodding seed heads in early fall.
Image Gallery: 19 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
, DC Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Que. to B.C., s. to NC, TX, AZ
& e. of the Cascades to n. CA. Absent from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Most common in the northern reaches of its range and at high altitudes. Native Habitat:
Grasslands, ravines, depressions, verges, open woodlands, ditches, fencerows
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained, porous, acid or calcareous sand, loam, clay, or limestone
Conditions Comments: Prefers a moist soil. Can take half a day of shade. More drought-tolerant than Western Wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii); less drought-tolerant than Junegrass (Koeleria macrantha). Requires more sun than Virginia Wildrye (Elymus virginicus).
BenefitUse Ornamental: A good bunchgrass for partly shady prairie plantings.
Use Wildlife: Nesting material, Seeds-granivorous birds, Seeds-Small mammals. Fair forage.
Use Food: Seed consumed by Gosiute Indians.
Use Other: Very palatable and nutritious, readily consumed by livestock, providing good early spring cattle grazing. Cut seed stalks used in dried arrangements.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Larval Host: For Zabulon skipper butterfly
Deer Resistant: High
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: