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Common Name: Canadian Wild Rye
Elymus canadensis is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.75 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
N. America - in most areas except the far south. Recorded, but not yet naturalized in N. Europe[
Dry sandy gravelly or rocky soil[
]. Thickets and open woods in limestone and sandy clay soils in Texas[
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils, preferring a sandy soil and a sunny position[
Plants can flower too late to ripen their seed in Britain, especially in the western half of the country[
A polymorphic species[
Seed - cooked[
]. It can be ground into a flour and used to make bread. Quite fiddly to use, the seed is small and difficult to separate[
]. The seed was an important item of food for the Paiute Indians of south-western N. America[
The plant has an extensive root system and can be used for binding sand dunes[
Seed - sow mid spring in situ and only just cover the seed[
]. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
If the supply of seed is limited, it can also be sown in mid spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in summer[
Division in spring or summer[
]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.