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: 20 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,
south to Durango and Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico. 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: