Elymus canadensis is a species of wild rye known by the common name Canada wild rye. This grass is native to much of North America, being most abundant in the central plains and Great Plains. It grows in a number of ecosystems, including riparian woodlands, many types of forest, lakeside sand dunes, and tallgrass prairie.
This is a perennial bunch grass reaching heights of one to one and a half meters. It grows from a small rhizome, forms a shallow, fine root network, and is a facultative mycotroph, receiving about 25% of its nutrients on average from symbiotic mycorrhizae. Its stems are hollow and tough at maturity and bear rough, flat leaves reaching 20 to 30 centimeters in length.
The inflorescence is a nodding spike up to 25 centimeters long containing 5 to 20 spikelets. Each spikelet is one or two centimeters long, not counting the sharp, hard, curling awn which may exceed three centimeters in length. This grass is sometimes used for stabilizing eroded areas and for vegetating metal-rich soils in reclaimed mines.
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