Canada wild rye Elymus canadensis, from here.

Belongs within: Poaceae.

Elymus is a genus of grasses found in temperate parts of the world, members of which are characterised by possession of the 'St' genome. Rhizomes of Elymus repens, couch grass, have been used historically in Europe as incense or for treating fevers, which may explain its alternative vernacular names of 'quack grass' or 'witch grass'. Elymus canadensis, Canada wild rye, is found over much of North America, particularly the central plains.

See also: Scattering the sheaves (Taxon of the Week: Elymus).

Characters (from Flora of China): Plants perennial, usually tufted, usually without, rarely with, rhizomes. Culms usually erect. Leaf sheath of cauline leaves split almost to base; auricles present or absent; leaf blade flat or rolled. Spike erect to nodding. Spikelets 1 or 2(–4) per node, sessile, rarely very shortly pedicellate, appressed to rachis, clearly laterally compressed, usually all similar, with 2–10 or more florets; rachis tough. Glumes opposite or side-by-side, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate-ovate, firmly membranous to leathery, 1–9(–11)-veined, not keeled, apex obtuse to shortly awned; veins more or less raised. Lemma lanceolate-oblong, rounded abaxially, 5-veined, more or less pubescent, apex obtuse or acute to awned, rarely toothed; veins connivent at apex; awn erect or reflexed. Palea shorter than or equaling lemma, apex retuse, subrounded, or acute. Caryopsis usually adherent to lemma and palea. x = 7.

    |--E. albowianus D03
    |--E. canadensis B75
    |--E. canaliculatus O88
    |--E. farctus PT98
    |    |--E. f. ssp. farctus PT98
    |    `--E. f. ssp. rechingeri PT98
    |--E. kuramensis (Meld.) Cope 1982 [=Agropyron kuramense Meld. in Bor 1960] CS05
    |--E. microlepis O88
    |--E. nutans O88
    |--E. repens K09
    |--E. schrenkianus O88
    |--E. semicostatus O88
    |--E. sibiricus O88
    `--E. virginicus G81

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B75] Bowles, J. B. 1975. Distribution and biogeography of mammals of Iowa. Special Publications, The Museum, Texas Tech University 9: 1–184.

[CS05] Chauhan, A., & D. K. Singh. 2005. A note on Elymus kuramensis (Meld.) T. A. Cope (Poaceae) from India. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 47 (1–4): 145–148.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[G81] Gagné, R. J. 1981. Cecidomyiidae. In: McAlpine, J. F., B. V. Peterson, G. E. Shewell, H. J. Teskey, J. R. Vockeroth & D. S. Wood (eds) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 1 pp. 257–292. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

[K09] Köhler, G. 2009. Heuschrecken (Saltatoria) und Ohrwürmner (Dermaptera) im Immissionsgebiet des Düngemittelwerkes Steudnitz/Thüringen—eine Langzeitstudie (1978–2001). Mauritiana 20 (3): 601–646.

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: an introductory note. In: Ohba, H., & S. B. Malla (eds) The Himalayan Plants vol. 1. The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19–46.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95–116.

Last updated: 14 December 2017.

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