Dune wildrye

Leymus mollis

Range: common in coastal BC; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and N, E to NF and S to NH, PA, MI, IL and CA; Greenland, E Asia.

Description: Perennial, tufted grass, 50-150 cm tall, from thick, ascending rhizomes forming large clumps; stems erect, stout, usually finely but copiously hairy or sometimes smooth above. Leaves flat to in-rolled, 6-15 mm wide; ear-shaped lobes usually developed at some leaf-bases; ligules more or less fringed with fine hairs, scarcely 1 mm long.  Inflorescence a stout spike, (10) 15-30 cm long, 1-2 cm wide; spikelets paired, 4- to 6-flowered.  Glumes and lemmas usually very soft-hairy, scarcely awned.

Ecology: Moist to mesic sandy or gravelly beaches and shoreline forests in the lowland zone.

Notes: This used to be a dominant grass on dunes until the introduction of European beachgrass.  First Nations used dunegrass for weaving packstraps, basket handles, and tumplines.

  • Eflora
  • Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon.  1994.  Plants of Coastal British Columbia: including Washington, Oregon & Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing. Vancouver. 528 p.

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