Elymus arenarius S.G.Gmel.
Elymus attenuatus (Griseb.) K.Richt.
Elymus giganteus Vahl
Elymus macrostachys Spreng.
Elymus mexicanus Cav.
Elymus racemosus Lam.
Elymus sabulosus M.Bieb.
Hordeum giganteum (Vahl) Raspail
Leymus crassinervius (Kar. & Kir.) Baikov & Lipin
Leymus giganteus (Vahl) Pilg.
Leymus klokovii (Tzvelev) Baikov & Lipin
Leymus sabulosus (M.Bieb.) Tzvelev
Triticum sabulosum (M.Bieb.) F.Herm.
Common Name: Volga Wild Rye
Leymus racemosus is a perennial grass with erect, stout culms 50 - 100cm tall and 12mm in diameter. Growing from a long, creeping rhizome, the plant forms extensive colonies[
This species is of outstanding importance for the consolidation of sands, and as a grain crop on northern semi-desert and desert sands, where other cultivated plants die out owing to drought[
]. It is sometimes grown as an ornametal[
Plants can be very invasive in some environments, spreading freely by means of the rhizomes[
Eurasia - southern Russia to Greece, east through the Caucasus and Turkey to eastern Siberia, Mongolia, western China
Dry sandy soils[
]. Coastal and riverside sands, sandhills, and sandy steppes[
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Leymus racemosus is a very cold-tolerant plant, succeeding in areas where winter temperatures can fall to -25°c, It is adapted to areas that receive at least 175mm of mean annual precipitation[
The plant is suitable for riparian restoration and rated tolerant of salinity and flooding.
Requires a sunny position. Succeeds in most soils, though it performs best on well drained neutral to somewhat alkaline soils. It thrives in sandy soils and is very tolerant of sand deposition[
]. Vegetative spread by rhizomes diminishes when the plant is grown on heavier soils[
]. Established plants are very drought resistant[
]. The plant is rated tolerant of salinity and of seasonal flooding[
Currently (1990) the plant is being evaluated as a perennial grain crop in N. America[
There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value[
This species is known to produce fertile hybrids with Leymus multicaulis[
Seed - used as a cereal substitute in some parts of Russia, especially in times of drought[
]. The seed is rather small and difficult to extract[
Young underground shoots - raw. Sweet and tender[
Plants have an extensive spreading root system and are much used to stabilize inland sand dunes and control wind erosion, though they do not tolerate salty conditions[
The plant can also be used for the revegetation of mine tailings[
The plant tolerates fire fairly well because the leaves and stems remain green and moist during the summer fire season and therefore it does not combust as readily as most other plant. It is therefore sometimes planted in fire breaks or greenstrips[
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.