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collage of Early Wildrye and Southeastern Wildrye

Early Wildrye (Elymus macgregorii) vs. Southeastern Wildrye (Elymus glabriflorus)

Updated December 27th, 2022

These two species are similar and easily confused as both have upright spikes with long, spreading awns. They are usually easily distinguished by spike length and bloom time. E. macgregorii ranges farther north and west, and is more restricted to shadier, moister habitats with base-rich soils, whereas E. glabriflorus ranges farther southeast and onto drier, more upland habitats, and acidic soils. These species can hybridize and intergrade, so it may not be possible to ID all individuals.

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