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

Secale cereale L.
rye (cereal rye)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Percy Folkard  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #32590)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Secale cereale
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Annual grass from fibrous roots; stems hollow, mostly 60-150 cm tall.
Sheaths open; blades flat, (3) 4-10 mm wide; ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases fairly prominent; ligules short membranous.
Inflorescence a terminal spike, 8-15 cm long, with spikelets 1 per node; spikelets unstalked, 2-flowered, the florets side by side, the rachilla prolonged between the two; glumes stiff, slender, awl-like, 1-nerved, shorter than the lemmas; lemmas curved, 5-nerved, strongly fringed with fine hairs on the keels and exposed margins, awns mostly 4-7 cm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early 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

Dry waste areas and roadsides in the steppe and montane zones; rare (and not usually persisting) in S BC in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Secale cereale

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) 932 932 932
Slope Gradient (%) 2 2 2
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 4
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: IDF(1)


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

Secale montanum Guss., nom. inq.
Secale strictum (C. Presl) C. Presl
Triticum cereale (L.) Salisb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References