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Virginia Wild Rye

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

Note: This item is sold by the PLS pound.


For quantity discount pricing, request a quote.


Elymus virginicus, commonly called Virginia wild rye, is a native perennial cool season grass. Mature plants grow in clumps up to 2-4’ tall in a variety of habitats including bottomland forests, upland prairies, glades, stream banks, pastures, and disturbed areas. We currently offer Missouri Native and Cuivre River varieties/cultivars.


Landscaping notes

It prefers a little shade but will tolerate full sun. It readily self-sows and will spread over time. Virginia wildrye blooms in the spring (from March through May) and is wind pollinated.

The foliage is typically green or bluish green in color and has a fibrous root system. Sometimes, it has a whitish, waxy appearance. The seed heads are typically more erect than those of Canada wild rye, and the plant tends to be shorter in stature. It is very adaptable and has quite a large distribution area.

The flower heads are attractive in flower arrangements.


Forage notes

Virginia wild rye is palatable as forage or hay for livestock.


Restoration notes

It is a good choice for erosion control and does well in areas such as streambanks, wild areas, prairie plantings, and rain gardens. It has a moderate tolerance of drought and low tolerance of burning.

We often include Virginia wild rye in the following mixes: Native Cool Season Overseeding Mix, Buck’s Hangout, Companion Grass Mix – Wet, Companion Grass Mix – Shade, and Firebreak Mix.

Videos About This Plant

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

Importance of Plant Diversity

Check out more videos and articles on our blog.

Additional information

Weight 0.0625 lbs

Full Sun to Part Shade

Seeding Rate

17.34 PLS lbs/acre


Dry, Average, Moist



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.