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Big Squirreltail
Elymus multisetus
About Big Squirreltail (Elymus multisetus) Nurseries Show All Photos Elymus multisetus is a species of wild rye known by the common name big squirreltail. It is native to the western United States where it grows in many types of habitat. It is a perennial grass reaching 60 centimeters in maximum height. The flower cluster is an array of spikelets each with several long, hairlike awns which may be up to 20 centimeters long.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
2 ft (0.6 m)

Flower Color

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open, sandy rocky places


Elevation ?
-7' - 12570'

Annual Precip. ?
5.0" - 137.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.13" - 4.39"

Coldest Month ?
20.8° F - 56.5° F

Hottest Month ?
38.9° F - 80.3° F

Humidity ?
0.08 vpd - 31.25 vpd


Sunset Zones ?
1*, 2*, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

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

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Common Names
Big Squirreltail Grass

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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