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Great Basin Wild Rye
Elymus cinereus
About Great Basin Wild Rye (Elymus cinereus) 3 Nurseries Carry This Plant 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
Plant Type

3.5 - 7 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 9 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Full Sun, Part Shade


For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Streamsides, canyons

Annual Precipitation: 5.7" - 72.3", Summer Precipitation: 0.30" - 3.41", Coldest Month: 24.3" - 52.3", Hottest Month: 47.2" - 77.3", Humidity: 0.67" - 29.68", Elevation: 2303" - 10167"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Basin Wildrye, Giant Wild Rye, Gray 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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