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Southeastern Wild Rye

Elymus virginicus var glabriflorus

Green leaves are a good winter wildlife food; establishes quickly in plantings

Note: This item is sold by the PLS pound.


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Elymus virginicus var glabriflorus, also known as Southeastern wild rye, is a native cool season perennial grass.  It is clump forming and can grow to about 4 feet tall.


Restoration notes

Southeastern wildrye seed germinates quickly and retains high percentages of seed viability, making it useful for roadsides, stabilization of slopes and other highly erodible areas. It does particularly well in restoration projects aiming to preserve water quality since it requires no fertilizer use. It is also compatible with native warm season grasses and wildflowers in diversity plantings and can also be used as a cover crop that provides winter soil coverage when many other plants are dormant.


Forage notes

Southeastern wild rye is a good choice for native cool-season forage. Additionally, hay yields of more than 3 tons/acre can be achieved. Rotational grazing is recommended. A must have for year-round grazing programs! If haying, harvest prior to seed head formation to capture highest nutritional quality. Summer heat tend to put the plant into dormancy, so expect one cutting of hay.


Wildlife notes

A variety of beetles and butterfly larvae feed on wild rye, and spiders often create webs among the spiky seed heads. Some birds consume wildrye seed. As the plant matures and falls over, ground-nesting birds such as bobwhite quail are able to take advantage of the ideal habitat that is created.

Videos About This Plant

To learn more about this plant, check out our videos about it and its uses.

How does -10 Degree Weather Impact Native Cool Season Grasses?

Stockpiled Native Grass Forage on the Winter Solstice

Additional information

Weight N/A

Full Sun to Part Shade

Seeding Rate

20 PLS lbs/acre


Dry, Average



Bloom Month

Jun, Jul



Specialty Uses


Cattle Palatability


# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.