David L. Morgan
Plant Common Name
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
Canada wildrye is a versatile ornamental grass that has attractive bluish green foliage and gently nodding, wheat-like flower and seedheads in autumn and winter. A clump forming perennial, it is native to a vast area of temperate North America. In spring, erect stems start to bear the long, often weeping bluish gray-green or medium green leaves. By late summer and into fall, stem tips form dense green flowerspikes that look like those of wheat. The begin to turn beige as fall progresses, which is the eventual color of the entire plant throughout winter. Birds will forage for the seeds in fall and winter, and also using the clumps as cover.
Successfully grow Canada ryegrass in any moderately fertile, well-drained garden soil in full to partial sun. This particular species is tolerant of wet soil and is fairly tolerant of drought, too. It is great seen scattered about a meadow, or it can be grown as a backdrop to asters and mums in a border, but be prepared to remove seedlings that pop up from the seeds. Cut it back anytime from early winter to early spring, depending on attractiveness, before the fresh new foliage grows again in spring. It is a lovely accent fill in both fresh and dried floral arrangements.
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Wet Site, Pollution, Drought, Soil Compaction
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter