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[
Plants can be very invasive, 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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Succeeds in most soils, preferring a sandy soil and a sunny position[
]. Established plants are drought resistant[
Currently (1990) being evaluated as a perennial grain crop in N. America[
There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value[
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, though they do not tolerate salty conditions[
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.