Elymus diversiglumis Scribn. & Ball
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Family: Poaceae
Genus: Elymus
Species Synonyms: Elymus interruptus auct. non Buckl.
Common Names: diverseglume wildrye
Texas wildrye
variable-glumed wildrye
interrupted wildrye
Canada: Saskatchewan – Manitoba – western Ontario
Saskatchewan: eastern and central Saskatchewan; Prince Albert – Saskatoon – Souris River Valley
Ecoregion: Moist Mixed Grassland, Aspen Parkland, Boreal Transition, Mid-Boreal Lowland
Saskatchewan: moist rich deciduous woods and thickets
Canada: thickets and woods
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G5 S2
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Elymus diversiglumis is threatened because it is rare or uncommon in Saskatchewan. Possible threats, including habitat loss, have been identified for this species.
Height: 80 – 150 cm
Roots: fibrous; rhizomes lacking
Stems: caespitose, hollow, green or glaucous
Leaves: 8 – 40 cm long, 8 – 13 mm wide, flat, pilose on nerves of adaxial surface, glabrous below; sheaths glabrous; ligules 1 – 2.5 mm long, membranous; auricles inconspicuous to 2 mm long
Inflorescence: spikes arching at maturity, 8 – 24 cm long, loose
Spikelets: 1 – 3 per rachis node, closely appressed, containing 2 – 4 florets
Florets: glumes setaceous or absent, unequal, 2 – 6 mm long, less than 0.5 mm wide, base terete and indurate; lemma 8 – 12 mm long (excluding awn), pubescent; lemma awn 2 – 3 cm long, divergent at maturity; palea 8 – 9 mm long, shorter than lemma
Fruits: caryopsis
1 Spikelets 2 or 3 at each rachis node, 1 – 6-flowered; lemmas obscurely 5-nerved
1 Spikelets solitary at each rachis node, each spikelet with at least 2 florets; lemmas 5 – 7-nerved
2 Glumes, if present, setaceous, divided to base into 2 divergent awns; spike rachis readily disarticulating; plants mostly 10 – 50 cm tall
E. elymoides ssp. elymoides
2 Glumes setaceous or not; spike rachis not readily disarticulating; plants mostly taller than 50 cm
3 Glume margins membranous, not nerved; lemmas glabrous to scabrous
E. glaucus ssp. glaucus
3 Glume margins thickened, hard, and nerved; lemmas densely pubescent
4 Glumes setaceous, reduced, or absent, usually < 6 mm long (excluding awn) and 0.5 mm wide
E. diversiglumis
4 Glumes linear, usually at least 1 cm long (excluding awn) and 1 – 2 mm wide
5 Glumes shorter than lemma body; lemma awns divergent at maturity; base of glume flattened
5 Glumes equal to or longer than lemma body; lemma awns straight at maturity; base of glume terete or bowed
6 Leaves firm, adaxially glabrous or scabrous; spikes arching; palea to 1.1 cm long
E. canadensis var. canadensis
6 Leaves thin, adaxially pilose; spike pendulous; palea to 1.5 cm long
E. canadensis var. wiegandii
7 Glumes and lemmas long-awned (to 1.5 cm)
E. virginicus var. virginicus
7 Glumes and lemmas mucronate to short-awned (< 2 mm)
E. virginicus var. submuticus
8 Rhizomes short or absent; florets disarticulating above the glumes; anthers 1.5 – 2 mm long
8 Rhizomes long and creeping; florets disarticulating below the glumes; anthers 3 – 7 mm long
9 Awns equal to or longer than lemma
E. trachycaulus ssp. subsecundus
9 Awns absent or much shorter than lemma
E. trachycaulus ssp. trachycaulus
10 Leaves flat, 4 – 8 mm wide, green; lemmas glabrous or nearly so
E. repens
10 Leaves involute, 1 – 3 mm wide, glaucous; lemmas usually pubescent
11 Glumes 2 – 3-nerved; lemmas long-awned
E. albicans
11 Glumes 3 – 5-nerved; lemmas awnless
12 Spikes to 25 cm long; rachis pubescent below spikelets; glumes conspicuously 5-nerved; lemmas densely villous
E. lanceolatus ssp. psammophilus
12 Spikes to 15 cm long; rachis glabrous below spikelets; glumes 3-nerved, only the midvein conspicuous; lemmas glabrous or villous
13 Lemmas glabrous or scabrous
E. lanceolatus ssp. lanceolatus var. riparium
13 Lemmas villous
E. lanceolatus ssp. lanceolatus var. lanceolatus
*Elymus hybrids occur naturally in Saskatchewan. E. X maltei (E. canadensis x E.virginicus ) and E. X pseudorepens (E. trachycaulus x E. lanceolatus) are examples.