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Montana Field Guides

Blue Wildrye - Elymus glaucus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4S5
C-value: 5


Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:


 

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General Description
Bunchgrass. Stems few-bunched, 60–130 cm. Leaves: blades 5–12 mm wide, flat. Inflorescence 6–16 cm long, the rachis continuous and erect. Spikelets usually 2 per node, 12–20 mm long; glumes distinctly broadest in the lower half, with 3 to 5 veins, the base mostly greenish, not indurate, distally tapering to a short awn or awn-tip. Lemmas mostly 2 to 4 per spikelet, essentially hairless, with a straight awn 10–20 mm long (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Blue Wildrye - Elymus glaucus, native
*Spikelets are 12-20 mm long.
*Glume: The most basal 1-2 mm of the glume is not bony, mostly greenish, and not outwardly curved.
*Habitat: Grows in undisturbed dry meadows and open understories in the mountains.

Virginia Wildrye - Elymus virginicus, native
*Spikelets are 10-13 mm long.
*Glume: the most basal 1-2 mm of the glume is bony (shatters from the seed-head), yellowish, and outwardly curved.
*Habitat: Grows in regularly disturbed sites that are not in the mountains.

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Range Comments
Throughout much of North America but absent from some central states and eastern provinces and states (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 973

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Ament, R.J. 1995. Pioneer Plant Communities Five Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 216 p.
    • Clark, D. 1991. The effect of fire on Yellowstone ecosystem seed banks. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 115 pp.
    • Cope, M.G. 1992. Distribution, habitat selection and survival of transplanted Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) in the Tobacco Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Durham, R. A., D. L. Mummey, L. Shreading, and P.W. Ramsey. 2017. Phenological patterns differ between exotic and native plants: Field observations from the Sapphire Mountains, Montana. Natural Areas Journal, 37(3), 361–381.
    • Hollenbeck, R.R. 1974. Growth rates and movements within a population of Rana pretiosa pretiosa Baird and Girard in south central Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 66 p.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Joslin, G.J. 1975. Behavior and environmental selection by Elk (Cervus canadensis nelsoni) during surrmer and fall in the First and Second Yellow Mule drainages, Madison County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University, Bozeman. 65 p.
    • McColley, S.D. 2007. Restoring aspen riparian stands with beaver on the northern Yellowstone winter range. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 67 p.
    • Plaggemeyer, J.B. 1995. Effects of overstory thinning on lodgepole pine understories. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 55 p.
    • Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
    • Singer, F. J. 1979. Habitat partitioning and wildfire relationships of cervids in Glacier National Park, Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management 43(2):437-444.
    • Williams, K.L. 2012. Classification of the grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, forests and alpine vegetation associations of the Custer National Forest portion of the Beartooth Mountains in southcentral Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 376 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Blue Wildrye — Elymus glaucus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from