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Virginia Wildrye
Elymus virginicus

A short-lived, cool-season perennial grass that clumps and reaches heights up to 3'. Virginia wild rye is used mostly as a forage and haying species. It is also used along stream banks for stabilization, slope buffers, vegetated swales, and in floodplain forest or savanna areas. Consider it for many types of wetland restoration. This species can become aggressive if it is seeded too heavily.

USDA symbol: ELVI3

General Information

Plant TypeGrass
Height3 to 4 feet
Light ExposurePart Sun, Sun
Soil MoistureMedium
Bloom ColorGreen
Virginia Wildrye (Virginia Wildrye<div><em class="small">Elymus virginicus</em></div>)
Photo credit: United States Department of Agriculture (Click to enlarge)

Tolerances

Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience5
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, Fire Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Low

Bloom MonthsJuly to September

Project Planning

Project TypeBoulevard, Erosion Control, Restoration, Shoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism4
Herbivore SensitivityHigh
LifespanPerennial
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationShallow
Vegetative ReproductionAbsent

Range

CountyAitkin, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac qui, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Sherburne, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Swift, Traverse, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Wright, Yellow Medicine
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands