Elymus canadensis, commonly called Canada wild rye, is a native cool season bunch grass noted for graceful, arching seed heads. It blooms in summer and remains attractive well into winter. Virginia wildrye can be distinguished from Canada wild rye by its rather erect (not nodding) seedheads, and by the rather straight (not curving) awns on its mature seedheads. It is generally not as tall or robust as Canada wild rye.
Canada wildrye provides good quality forage during the early part of the grazing season. It is fairly palatable to most livestock and is rated good in energy value but poor in protein value.
Canada wildrye is palatable to a variety of wildlife. It also provides nesting, brood, winter, and escape cover.
The foliage is typically green or bluish green in color and has a fibrous root system. Sometimes, it has a whitish, waxy appearance.
Exceptional seedling vigor and rapid establishment make Canada wildrye an excellent species for use in erosion control seedings.
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