Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Virginia Wildrye (Elymus virginicus)
- Family: Grass (Poaceae)
- Flowering: June-October.
- Field Marks: Virginia wildrye is distinguished by its relatively stiff, erect spikes, many of which are enclosed at the base by the subtending sheath.
- Habitat: Low woods, along streams, and in many dry habitats.
- Habit: Perennial tufted herb with short rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect, smooth, unbranched, up to 3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Long, narrow, smooth or hairy on the upper surface, rough on the lower surface, up to 1/2 inch wide.
- Flowers: 2-6 per spikelet, the spikelets several in dense, stiff, erect spikes, the spikes up to 5 inches long, the lower part of the spike often enclosed by the sheath; glumes smooth or hairy, up to 1 1/2 inches long; lemmas smooth or hairy, up to 1/2 inch long, each with a straight awn up to 1 1/2 inches long.
- Grains: Sparsely hairy at the tip.
- Notes: This species is palatable to livestock.
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