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Elymus virginicus

Virginia Wildrye

In Stock: 4.934 lb (Total:4.934lb)
  • Elymus virginicus

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4.93 lb
Elymus virginicus


Germination test:
Seeds per lb:
4.93 lb
Collected in:
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: none required
Stratification: none required
Germination: Broadcast, drill or hydroseed on prepared seed bed.

Virginia wild rye, scientifically known as Elymus virginicus, is a native cool season perennial bunchgrass found in Virginia and the eastern United States. This grass is particularly well-suited for the east Texas area, as it is one of the few cool season native grasses in that region.

Virginia wildrye is highly palatable to livestock and is an excellent forage option. However, it requires proper grazing management to thrive and will decrease if not managed correctly. The grass spreads through seed and tillering, making it an adaptable and resilient species.

This grass can sometimes be confused with Canadian wild rye, but it can be distinguished by its shorter awns and less robust nature. When used for hay, Virginia wild rye should be cut early in the season to avoid ergot contamination.

Northern Missouri Germplasm Virginia wild rye was released in 1999 by the Missouri Plant Material Center specifically for use in northern Missouri, showcasing its versatility and adaptability.

Virginia wildrye grows as a perennial bunchgrass, typically reaching heights of 2 to 4 feet. It has a variable color range, ranging from green to silver blue. The seed head is characterized by dense, medium length awns and can measure 2 to 6 inches in length. It is an extremely visually appealing grass.

This grass has a wide range of uses, including pasture and hay production, restoration efforts, erosion control, and wildlife habitat creation. It is particularly useful in buffer strips to protect waterways and prevent soil erosion.

Key characteristics of Virginia wildrye include a seed head that remains straight at maturity, a short and rigid ligule, a densely awned wheat-like head, and no hair on stems or leaves. The color of the grass can vary from green, waxy, blue-green to silver. It flowers from May to July.

Virginia wildrye is distributed throughout the eastern 2/3rds of the United States and all of the southern Canadian provinces. It is typically found in moister sites compared to Canadian wildrye and can tolerate more shading. While it prefers heavy and fertile soils, it is known for its adaptability to various soil conditions.

Overall, Virginia wildrye is a highly valuable grass species for those looking for a native cool season grass that offers numerous benefits such as livestock forage, soil stabilization, and wildlife support.

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