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Elymus cinereus
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Great Basin Wild Rye
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Elymus cinereus

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About Great Basin Wild Rye (Elymus cinereus) Leymus cinereus is a species of wild rye known by the common names basin wild rye and giant wild rye. It is a common native grass of western North America, including western Canada and the United States from California to South Dakota and Minnesota. It grows in many types of habitat, including grassland and prairie, forests, scrub, chaparral, and sagebrush. This is a perennial grass forming large, tough clumps up to 2 meters tall and sometimes exceeding one meter in diameter. It has a large, fibrous root system and sometimes small rhizomes. The flower cluster is an unbranched, cylindrical spike divided into up to 35 nodes with several flower spikelets per node.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.5 - 7 ft (1.1 - 2.1 m)

Flower Color

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Streamsides, canyons

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
2303' - 10167'

Annual Precip. ?
5.7" - 72.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.30" - 3.41"

Coldest Month ?
24.3° F - 52.3° F

Hottest Month ?
47.2° F - 77.3° F

Humidity ?
0.67 vpd - 29.68 vpd

Landscaping Information
Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Giant Wild Rye

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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