CANADA WILD RYE
File Size: 110 KB
 
Elymus canadensis  L.
Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 3-6 feet
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   July, August
Culms: Erect, slender to stout, hollow, glabrous, green or blue-green waxy.
Blades: Flat or rolled inward, 4-16 inches long, .25 to .5 inch wide, slightly narrowed toward bases, midrib prominent beneath, rough or bristly-hairy above; margins fine-toothed; tips tapered to fine points.
Sheaths: Mostly longer than internodes, rounded, usually glabrous; auricles prominent, finger-like, clasping.
Ligules: Short, membranous, entire or notched.
Inflorescences: Spikes, dense, erect or nodding, 3-12 inches long, occasionally interrupted below, terminal.
Spikelets: 1-4 per node, overlapping, slightly spreading, sessile, 2-7-flowered; glumes equal, shorter than first lemma; lemma awns .5 to 1.5 inch long, outward curving at maturity.
Habitat: Moist or dry open prairies, stream banks, ditches, and disturbed areas, more abundant on sandy or rocky soils.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Toxicity: Ergot can infest the inflorescence and is potentially dangerous to livestock.
Forage Value: Canada wild rye is very palatable and nutritious and is readily grazed by livestock. The forage value decreases with age.
Comments: Tufted. Sometimes called "nodding wild rye" because of the arching heads. It is winter hardy and grows as far north as southern Alaska.

Canada wild rye
82 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Canada wild rye inflorescence
137 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Canada wild rye
118 KB
Ottawa County, Kansas
Canada wild rye
30 KB
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas