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- Botanical Name:
- Elymus riparius
- Hardiness Zone:
- Zone 2-9
- Mature Height:
- 1-2 ft
- Mature Width:
- 1 ft
- Growth Per Year:
- 1-2 ft
- Light Requirement:
- full sun
- Soil Requirement:
- moist to very dry
Riverbank Wild Rye – Elymus Riparius
Riverbank Wild Rye - Elymus riparius
Riverbank wild rye is a dark green wetland grass, growing up to four feet high and topped by spiky green bottlebrush tufts containing seeds. In the wild, this plant is found along riverbanks and beside streams. The Latin name riparius refers to riverbank wild rye's preference for riparian zones, which are the areas between forests and streams. Plants that dwell in riparian zones play an essential part in the ecosystem. Their root systems hold the soil together and filter out toxins before they reach the water. Riverbank wild rye, which is used in many wetland restoration projects, is primarily known for its ability to stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
On a smaller scale, this grass can be used to control and reverse erosion in backyard landscapes. Besides its erosion control properties, riverbank wild rye is an excellent choice for autumnal flora. The perennial blooms in late summer and continues to thrive even as temperatures grow cooler in the fall. It does not retain its leaves overwinter, but it will be sure to bounce back the next year. Wild rye tolerates shade and soil inundation, making it a good selection for wet, boggy areas. It is an ideal perimeter plant for edging ponds and water features. Riverbank wild rye is hardy and easy to cultivate. It proliferates, reaching its full height within a year. That means this tall, elegant grass will be turning heads in its first season.
Eco-friendly gardeners will be pleased to learn that riverbank wild rye is native to the southeastern United States. Including the grass in a landscaping project will bolster the local ecosystem, encouraging the return of native pollinators. A tall stand of wild rye, swaying gently in the breeze, evokes a sense of nostalgic Americana. It is an aesthetically pleasing and environmentally responsible addition to any garden.
Riverbank wild rye is a perennial. This grass will grow year after year. This grass will do well in very moist soil conditions. The Riverbank wild rye will grow great from spring to summer.