Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:

Elymus lanceolatus ssp. lanceolatus

Elymus lanceolatus (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) Gould ssp. lanceolatus

Thickspike Wheatgrass, Wild Rye, Stream Bank Wheatgrass

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Agropyron dasystachyum, Agropyron dasystachyum var. riparium, Agropyron dasystachyum var. riparum, Agropyron elmeri, Agropyron lanceolatum, Agropyron riparium, Agropyron riparum, Elymus lanceolatus var. riparius, Elymus subvillosus, Elytrigia dasystachya, Elytrigia ripara, Elytrigia riparia


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A long-lived, strongly rhizomatous, cool-season, sod-forming perennial with an attractive, low growth habit. The culms are 1 1/2-4 ft. high and bear and an erect, narrow spike. Leaf blades are narrow, lending a fine texture to the plant.


From the Image Gallery

No images of this plant

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Leaf: Gray-Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , IL , MI , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OR , SD , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , ON , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Man. to B.C., s. to NE, CO,OR, NV & e. of the Cascades to n.e. CA; also along Great Lakes
Native Habitat: Plains; dry hills; exposed ridges; sandy shores, moist meadows & hillsides.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry to moist sandy, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Often used for erosion control. Drought tolerant. Adapts to a wide range of sites.


Attracts: Birds


Description: Sow seed.
Seed Treatment: No treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Elymus lanceolatus ssp. lanceolatus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Elymus lanceolatus ssp. lanceolatus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Elymus lanceolatus ssp. lanceolatus


Record Modified: 2023-06-05
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back