E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Elymus lanceolatus (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) Gould
thickspike wildrye (thickspike wheatgrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Curtis Bjork  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #16563)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Elymus lanceolatus
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Species Information

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Perennial grass from conspicuous rhizomes; stems 22-130 cm tall, erect, the nodes exposed, smooth.
Sheaths smooth to hairy; blades 2-6 mm wide, mostly towards the base of the stems, in-rolled, the undersides smooth, the upper surfaces rough; ear-shaped lobes 1-1.5 mm long, usually present on the lower leaves; ligules 0.1-0.4 mm long, the edges ragged or fringed with fine hairs.
Inflorescence a spike 3.5-22 cm long, 0.7-1 cm wide, erect; spikelets 8-25 mm long, usually with 1 spikelet per node; spikelets with 3 to 11 florets; glumes unequal, 5-9 mm long, 1/2 to 3/4 the length of the first lemmas, smooth or hairy, weakly keeled, pointed to shortly-awned; lemmas 7-11 mm long, smooth or more often hairy to densely hairy with hairs less than 1 mm long, sharp-pointed to awn-tipped; anthers 2.5-5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry alkaline flats, sand dunes, gravelly sites and open forests in the steppe and montane zones; frequent in NE, SC and SE BC; E to AB and S to MI, IL, NE, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Elymus lanceolatus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 780 1114 2240
Slope Gradient (%) 0 27 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 117 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ESSF(4), ICH(3), IDF(14)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

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