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Elymus canadensis (Canada Wild Rye)

Canada Wild Rye, Canadian Wildrye, Prairie Wildrye, Nodding Wildrye, Elymus brachystachys, Elymus crescendus, Elymus philadelphicus, Elymus robustus

Elymus canadensis, Canada Wild Rye, Canadian Wildrye, Prairie Wildrye, Nodding Wildrye, Ornamental Grass

A distinctive ornamental grass, Elymus canadensis (Canada Wild Rye) is a cool season perennial grass forming a large clump of flat, pointed, bluish-green leaves, which clasp the stems at the bases. Elegant, arching flowering stems rise well above the foliage in mid to late summer. Resembling wheat or rye spikes, they bear heavy, greenish flowers in bristly spikes, 6 in. long (15 cm), which nod gently and gracefully sway in the breeze. Both foliage and spikes turn blond or sandy tan in fall, and continue to provide visual interest throughout the winter. Canada Wild Rye is a good bunchgrass for sunny natural landscape or partly shady prairie plantings. It self-sows readily, which is desirable in meadows or prairie restorations, but may be a nuisance in small gardens. Fast-growing, but somewhat short-lived, this prairie grass is drought tolerant, requires little to no maintenance, is virtually disease and pest free and provides months of interest. Cut seed stalks look lovely in dried arrangements.

  • Grows up to 2-5 ft. tall (60-150 cm) and 2-3 ft. across (60-90 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. This plant is not fussy about soils and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, including dry soils.
  • Excellent choice for prairies and meadows or banks and slopes for erosion control.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Propagate by seed, root division. Plant or divide in autumn. Sow seed on top of soil as seed needs light to germinate.
  • Native to much of North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Poaceae
Common names Canada Wild Rye
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' - 5'
(60cm - 150cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Midwest, California, Northeast, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

Recommended Companion Plants

Andropogon gerardii (Big Bluestem)
Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
Eryngium yuccifolium (Rattlesnake Master)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Poaceae
Common names Canada Wild Rye
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' - 5'
(60cm - 150cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Midwest, California, Northeast, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

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