This species is native to sand dunes along the Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes shoreline, where it is a species of active sand dunes (Maun 2009); vigour and flowering are highest in active dunes (Page 2001). It was introduced to the Pacific Coast in the 1930's and first reported in British Coilumbia in 2001 (Page 2001). It is invasive in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, and "has caused substantial changes to sand movement, beach morphology, and vegetation along sand beaches and adjacent dunes on western Vancouver Island" (Page 2001). Page (2001) provides the following information: "Ammophila breviligulata
is distinguished from A. arenaria
by smaller ligules (1-3 mm versus 10-30 mm long in A. arenaria)
, wider and less inrolled leaves, longer flower spike (25-35 cm versus 15-25 cm long in A. arenaria
), and scaly rather than puberulent leaf veins on the upper leaf surface (Hitchcock, 1950). Vegetative material may also be confused with Leymus mollis
. However, leaves of Leymus mollis
are typically wider (15-20 mm versus 5-15 mm long in A. breviligulata
and are distinctly glaucous compared to yellowish green in A. breviligulata
. As well, L. mollis
generally has auricles and has puberulent rather than scaly leaf veins."
Maun, Anwar. 2009. The Biology of Coastal Sand Dunes. Oxford University Press, London.
Page, Nick. 2001. Ammophila breviligulata (Poaceae) new to British Columbia. Botanical Electronic News 276.