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
Growing on dunes at Westenschouwen, the Netherlands
Photograph by: Bj.schoenmakers
Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication
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.
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.
Sand dunes by the coast[
]. 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[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
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[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -5°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 700 - 900mm, but tolerates 500 - 1,200mm[
Requires a sunny position in a light well-drained soil, tolerating moderate salinity[
]. Very tolerant of severe maritime exposure[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 to 6.5[
]. No more details, but the root is rather thin and fibrous[
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[
]. 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[
The flowering stems and leaves are used for thatching, in basketry, making brooms etc[
The rhizomes are used for making rope and mats[
A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making paper[
]. 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[
Seed - sow spring in situ.