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Useful Temperate Plants

Ammophila arenaria

(L.) Link

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Ammophila arundinacea Host

Ammophila australis (Mabille) Porta & Rigo

Ammophila littoralis (P.Beauv.) Rothm.

Ammophila pallida (C.Presl) Fritsch

Arundo arenaria L.

Arundo littoralis Steud.

Calamagrostis arenaria (L.) Roth

Diarrhena littoralis (P.Beauv.) Raspail

Phalaris ammophila Link

Phalaris maritima Nutt.

Psamma ammophila Link

Psamma arenaria (L.) Roem. & Schult.

Psamma australis Mabille

Psamma littoralis P.Beauv.

Psamma pallida C.Presl

Common Name: Marram Grass

Ammophila arenaria
Growing on dunes at Westenschouwen, the Netherlands
Photograph by: Bj.schoenmakers
Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication
Ammophila arenaria Ammophila arenaria Ammophila arenaria Ammophila arenaria Ammophila arenaria Ammophila arenaria Ammophila arenaria Ammophila arenaria Ammophila arenaria

General Information

Ammophila arenaria is a perennial, clump-forming grass with elongated rhizomes that spread to form large colonies. The culms are erect or ascending, 50 - 120cm long.
The plant is an excellent sand binder, much planted along coasts to stabilize sand dunes. The plant also provides material for basket and broom making, thatching, fibres for paper etc.
The plant is often planted to stabilize sand dunes, but should only be used within its native range since it spreads freely and can outcompete native plants on the dunes. Outside of its native range appropriate plants that are native to the specific area should be chosen.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Europe - Norway to Western Russia, south to Spain and Greece; N. Africa - Morocco to Egypt; W. Asia - Turkey south to Israel, possibly also in Arabia.

Habitat

Sand dunes by the coast[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
]. It is the prime colonist of unstable and mobile sand hills in dune systems, dominating the 'white dune' stage, and is commonly a component of other plant communities at tops of beaches and on very sandy coastal ground[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height1.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Ammophila arenaria is a plant of the temperate and subtropical zones, where it is normally found at elevations near sea level. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 9 - 20°c, but can tolerate 2 - 25°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -5°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 700 - 900mm, but tolerates 500 - 1,200mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Requires a sunny position in a light well-drained soil, tolerating moderate salinity[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Very tolerant of severe maritime exposure[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 to 6.5[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Edible Uses

Root[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. No more details, but the root is rather thin and fibrous[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

This plant has an extensive root system and grows naturally in sand dunes along the coast where it is very important for its action of binding the dunes and therefore allowing other plants to grow. It is much planted in sand dunes and other similar habitats for erosion control[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The tussocks have the ability to grow back through covering sand after being buried and can withstand sand accretion rates of up to 1 metre per year. The tussocks trap wind-blown sand and the root and rhizome growth stabilises the mobile dunes. It is widely planted to repair or stabilise dune areas, though it can become a problem where introduced outside its native range[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Other Uses

The flowering stems and leaves are used for thatching, in basketry, making brooms etc[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
66
Title
From Agar to Zenery.
Publication
 
Author
Freethy. R.
Publisher
The Crowood Press
Year
1985
ISBN
0-946284-51-2
Description
Very readable, giving details on plant uses based on the authors own experiences.
,
100
Title
Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1969
ISBN
0192176218
Description
An excellent and well illustrated pocket guide for those with very large pockets. Also gives some details on plant uses.
].

The rhizomes are used for making rope and mats[
115
Title
The Useful Plants of Great Britain.
Publication
 
Author
Johnson. C. P.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Written about a hundred years ago, but still a very good guide to the useful plants of Britain.
].

A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making paper[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
189
Title
Plant Fibres for Papermaking.
Publication
 
Author
Bell. L. A.
Publisher
Liliaceae Press
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
A good practical section on how to make paper on a small scale plus details of about 75 species (quite a few of them tropical) that can be used.
]. The stems are harvested in the summer, cut into usable pieces and soaked for 24 hours in clear water before cooking for 2 hours with soda ash. Beat the fibres in a ball mill for 1½ hours. The fibres make a tan-brown paper[
189
Title
Plant Fibres for Papermaking.
Publication
 
Author
Bell. L. A.
Publisher
Liliaceae Press
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
A good practical section on how to make paper on a small scale plus details of about 75 species (quite a few of them tropical) that can be used.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in situ.
Division
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-08-21. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Ammophila+arenaria>

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