Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Elymus riparius Wiegand
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: July-September
- Field Marks: Species of Elymus are distinguished by spikes with stiff awns and persistent
glumes. This one differs from the others by its hairless or rough leaves 1/2-1 inch wide.
- Habitat: Woods, borders of streams.
- Habit: Clump-forming perennial grass without rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, usually unbranched, slender, up to 4 1/2 feet tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, 1/2-1 inch wide, hairless or slightly rough to the touch; sheaths
smooth or slightly rough to the touch; ligules membranous, jagged at the tip.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, the spikelets often paired and forming a slightly nodding spike
up to 8 inches long and 2 inches wide; spikelets 2- to 4-flowered, 3/4-1 1/2 inches long;
glumes very narrow, less than 1/20 inch wide.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Narrowly oblongoid, more or less smooth.
- Notes: This family is Poaceae according to Gleason and Cronquist. This genus has thin,
very long glumes that are persistent on the spike providing a characteristic bottlebrush
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