Elymus lanceolatus ssp. psammophilus (Gillett & Senn) A. Löve
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Family: Poaceae
Genus: Elymus
Species Synonyms: Agropyron psammophilum Gillett & Senn
Agropyron dasystachyum var. psammophilum (Gillett & Senn) E.G. Voss
Agropyron dasystachyum ssp. psammophilum (Gillett & Senn) D.R. Dewey
Common Names: sand-dune wheatgrass
streambank wheatgrass
Canada: central Saskatchewan – southwestern Manitoba, southern Ontario
Saskatchewan: southern Saskatchewan; Saskatoon – Elbow Sand Hills – Corning
Ecoregion: Moist Grassland, Moist Mixed Grassland, Aspen Parkland
Saskatchewan: active sand dune blowouts
Associated Species: dune scurfpea, Indian ricegrass, prairie sandreed, sand dropseed
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G5T3 T2
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Vulnerable (DD)
Sand-dune wheatgrass is threatened because it is rare in Saskatchewan and is limited to sandy environments in the southern part of the province. Most local populations are small. Possible threats have been identified but more information is needed on this species.
Height: 40 – 110 cm
Roots: rhizomes long, creeping
Stems: perennial, erect, hollow, bluish
Leaves: 5 – 25 cm long, 1 – 4 mm wide, rough or long-hairy to hairless, usually rolled under; sheaths usually finely covered in stiff, straight hairs; ligules 0.1 – 0.6 mm long; ear-like lobes at the base of the leaf often present and conspicuous
Inflorescence: spikes compact, 3 – 25 cm long; central axis hairy below the spikelet
Spikelets: spikelets 1 per node, loosely to closely overlapping, 4 – 7-flowered
Florets: glumes 4 – 8 mm long, unequal, broadest above the middle, tip long to short-pointed, conspicuously 5-nerved, hairy to hairless, margin dry and membranous; lemmas 6.5 – 10 mm long, densely hairy, may be awned; palea to 11 mm long, as long as lemma
Fruits: grain
1 Spikelets 2 or 3 at each node or central axis, 1 – 6-flowered; lemmas obscurely 5-nerved
1 Spikelets solitary at each node of central axis, each spikelet with at least 2 florets; lemmas 5 – 7-nerved
2 Glumes, if present, bristle-like, divided to base into 2 divergent awns; central axis of spike readily separating; plants mostly 10 – 50 cm tall
E. elymoides ssp. elymoides
2 Glumes bristle-like or not; central axis of spike not readily separating; plants mostly taller than 50 cm
3 Glume margins membranous, not nerved; lemmas hairless to rough hairy
E. glaucus ssp. glaucus
3 Glume margins thickened, hard, and nerved; lemmas densely hairy
4 Glumes bristle-like, 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 rounded or bowed
6 Leaves firm, hairless or rough hairy above; spikes arching; palea to 1.1 cm long
E. canadensis var. canadensis
6 Leaves thin, long hairy above; 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 sharp-tipped to short-awned (< 2 mm)
E. virginicus var. submuticus
8 Rhizomes short or absent; florets separating above the glumes; anthers 1.5 – 2 mm long
8 Rhizomes long and creeping; florets separating 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 hairless or nearly so
E. repens
10 Leaves rolled, 1 – 3 mm wide, bluish; lemmas usually hairy
11 Glumes 2 – 3-nerved; lemmas long-awned
E. albicans
11 Glumes 3 – 5-nerved; lemmas awnless
12 Spikes to 25 cm long, central axis hairy below spikelets; glumes conspicuously 5-nerved; lemmas densely hairy
E. lanceolatus ssp. psammophilus
12 Spikes to 15 cm long, central axis hairless below spikelets; glumes 3-nerved, only the midvein conspicuous; lemmas hairless or hairy
13 Lemmas hairless or rough-hairy
E. lanceolatus ssp. lanceolatus var. riparium
13 Lemmas long-hairy
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.