Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Canada Wildrye (Elymus canadensis)
- Family: Grass (Poaceae)
- Flowering: July-October.
- Field Marks: The Canada wild rye differs from other wild ryes by its arching spikes and its long awns which tend to twist at maturity.
- Habitat: Alluvial woods; banks of rivers; sandy beaches; also in many dry habitats.
- Habit: Perennial tufted herb with short rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect, smooth, branched, up to 5 feet tall.
- Leaves: Long, narrow, smooth or rough on both surfaces, pointed and mostly inrolled at the tip, up to 2/3 inch broad.
- Flowers: 2-4 per spikelet, the spikelets several in dense, arching spikes, each spike up to 6 inches long; glumes slightly roughened, very narrow, each with an awn up to 1 1/2 inches long; lemmas roughened, up to 1/2 inch long, each with a curved awn up to 2 inches long.
- Grains: Sparsely hairy at the tip.
- Notes: This species is sometimes called nodding wild rye. The vegetative parts of this grass are palatable to livestock.
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