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Elymus villosus

Common Name(s)
Downy or silky wild rye
Flowering Time
Fruit/Seed Maturation Sign
Caryopsis (seed) turns tan
Fruit/Seed Collection Dates
Mid August

Of 240 seeds planted in a central Iowa demographic study, 210 (88%) germinated and 26 plants survivied to year 5; 27 flowered after an average of 4 years (Mabry in prep.).

Experimental seed addition in a small field study resulted in establishment in over 52-94% of plots after three years (Brudvig et al. 2011).

Spreads through self-sowing, as downy wild rye has relatively low seed production and little to no vegetative spread (Barkely 1986, Gleason and Cronquist 1991).Can become aggressive on rich sites and eliminate other species (Mabry, personal observation).

Downy wild rye (Elymus villosus)

Seed Cleaning
None required
Restoration Potential
Proven performer