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

Leymus mollis (Trin.) Pilg. subsp. mollis
dune wildrye (American dunegrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Tim de Lange Boom  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23586)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Leymus mollis subsp. mollis
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted grass from thick, ascending rhizomes forming large clumps; stems erect, stout, usually finely but copiously hairy or sometimes smooth above, 50-150 cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth; blades tough, very finely minutely rough appressed-hairy on the upper surfaces and smooth underneath, with numerous prominent nerves, flat to in-rolled, 6-15 mm wide; ear-shaped lobes usually developed at some leaf-bases; ligules more or less fringed with fine hairs, scarcely 1 mm long.
Inflorescence a stout spike, (10) 15-30 cm long, 1-2 cm wide; spikelets paired, 4- to 6-flowered, unstalked or if occasionally short-stalked then inflorescence slightly compounded, 20-30 (33) mm long; glumes lanceolate, usually soft-hairy but sometimes only sparsely short-hairy, prominently 3- to 6-nerved and flat, at least at the base, usually membranous-margined, long-pointed, mostly nearly equal to the spikelets, 15-25 mm long, awn-tipped; lemmas generally copiously soft-hairy but rarely only sparsely hairy, mostly prominently-nerved, membranous-margined, 10-20 mm long, long-pointed to abruptly slender-tipped, but scarcely awned; anthers 5-9 mm long.
A hybrid between Leymus mollis and Elymus glaucus, known only from Ucluelet and Gold River, has been named Leymus x uclueletensis (Bowden) Baum (Elymus x uclueletensis Bowden). A second hybrid, which is infrequent in SW BC, Leymus x vancouverensis (Vasey) Pilger (Elymus vancouverensis Vasey), has been proposed as a hybrid between Leymus mollis and L. triticoides (Buckl.) Pilger. See Hitchcock et al. (1969) for more detailed descriptions of these hybrids.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic sandy or gravelly beaches and shoreline forests in the lowland zone; common in coastal BC; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and N, E to NF and S to NH, PA, MI, IL and CA; Greenland, E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Leymus mollis ssp. mollis

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) 0 3 11
Slope Gradient (%) 0 7 40
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 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: CWH(7)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Elymus arenarius
Elymus arenarius subsp. mollis (Trin.) Hultén
Elymus arenarius var. scabrinervis (Bowden) B. Boivin
Elymus arenarius var. villosus E. Mey.
Elymus capitatus Scribn.
Elymus mollis Trin.
Elymus mollis var. mollis
Leymus arenarius subsp. mollis (Trin.) Tzvelev

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References