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

Elymus repens (L.) Gould
quackgrass (creeping wildrye)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10339)

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

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Perennial grass from extensive rhizomes; stems erect to decumbent, 50-100 cm tall/long, the nodes exposed, smooth.
Sheaths smooth or hairy; blades 6-10 mm wide, flat, the undersides smooth, the upper surfaces rough along the nerves, ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases 0.3-1 mm long; ligules 0.25-1.5 mm long, membranous.
Inflorescence a spike 5-15 cm long, 5-10 mm wide, erect, with 1 spikelet per node; spikelets 10-27 mm long, more than 2 times as long as the internodes, with 4 to 7 florets; glumes unequal, 7-10 mm long, with transparent edges along the upper 1/2, the tips pointed; lemmas 8-10.4 mm long, awnless or awned, the awns 0.2-3.8 (10) mm long; anthers 4-7 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
According to the USDA, this species is a known allelopath.
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, fields, gardens and disturbed sites in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in S BC south of 51 degrees N, less frequent N to 55degree N; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Elymus repens

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) 20 920 2140
Slope Gradient (%) 0 10 80
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
12 181 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
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: BG(35), BWBS(5), CWH(12), ESSF(18), ICH(10), IDF(116), MS(18), PP(30), SBPS(16), SBS(4)


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

Agropyron repens
Agropyron repens var. subulatum (Schreb.) Roemer & J.A. Schultes
Elytrigia repens
Elytrigia repens var. vaillantiana (Wulfen & Schreb.) Prokudin
Elytrigia vaillantiana (Wulfen & Schreb.) Beetle
Triticum repens L.
Triticum vaillantianum Wulfen & Schreb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References