Elymus virginicus L.
Virginia Wild Rye, Virginia Wildrye
Poaceae (Grass Family)
USDA Symbol: ELVI3
Culms: Strictly erect or decumbent at base, mostly 60-120 cm tall, green. Blades: Flat, mostly 5-15 mm. braod. Spike: Usually stiffly erect.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Inflorescence: Spike , Terminal
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , AZ , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
Canada: NB , NL , NS , PE
Native Habitat: Shaded banks, fence rows, open woodlands.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Organic, Clay, Loam, Sandy
BenefitUse Wildlife: Fair grazing, seed and forage for birds and small mammals, used for denning and nesting material.
Use Other: Good grazing for livestock.
Warning: The awns (seed husks) of this species and some other grass species with similarly barbed awns pose a serious threat of injury to dogs in which they can cause severe eye injuries. Do not use this grass in areas frequented by dogs.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval host for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Seed Treatment: No special pre-treatment.
Find Seed or Plants
Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
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National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
North American Native Plant Society - Etobicoke, ON
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-506 Collected 2007-06-21 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 1221 - Grasses of the Texas Hill Country (2006) Loflin, B & Loflin, S.
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Elymus virginicus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Elymus virginicus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Elymus virginicus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-01-02
Research By: TWC Staff