Canada wildrye

Elymus canadensis



Leaf blades of this bunchgrass are wide and are held to the stem by auricles. The spiked seed head resembles wheat or barley and droops or nods when mature. Spikelets are in groups of three or four and are slightly spreading. Glumes are narrow and straight at the base. Awns are more than twice as long as the lemma.

Canada wildrye is a perennial, cool-season, native - 24 to 48 inches tall.

Good grazing for livestock. Fair grazing for wildlife.


Grows in bottomlands, along ravines, in shaded areas, along fence rows, and in other moist sites. Has disappeared from rangeland pastures as the water cycle (infiltration and water-holding capacity of the soil) has changed.