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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.

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Elymus virginicus var. virginicus

Elymus virginicus L. var. virginicus

Virginia Wildrye, Virginia Wild Rye

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Elymus hirsutiglumis, Elymus jejunus, Elymus striatus, Elymus virginicus var. hirsutiglumis, Elymus virginicus var. intermedius, Elymus virginicus var. jejunus


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

Lush green, erect-growing. (Ontario Native Plants 2002)


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
Inflorescence: Spike
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Flowers (florets) inconspicuous. Bloom color refers to spikelets. Bloom time refers to fruiting period.


USA: 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 , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK


Use 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
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval host for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 26 - Minnesota Wildflowers: a field guide to the flora of Minnesota (2009)
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


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

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