Elymus gmelinii (Ledeb.) Tzvelev - Gmelin.s Couch, Gmelin.s Wild Rye.

Taxonomic position.

Family Poaceae Benth. genus Elymus L.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial grass. Usually forms no mats. Culms 60-100(120) cm tall. Culm nodes very shortly hairy. Sheaths of lower leaves shortly and densely hairy; leaf blades 4-9 mm wide, convolute or flat, on upper or both surfaces long and rather sparsely hairy, less often glabrous, scabrous. Spikes 7-17(20) cm long, erect, narrow (up to 8 mm wide), violet-colored. Spikelets 15-20 mm long, 4-5-flowered. Glumes 6-12 mm long, with 5-7 scabrous veins, gradually sharpened, subequal to or slightly shorter than adjacent lemma. Rachilla segments densely hairy. Lemma 9-12 mm long, lanceolate, with large spinules at veins or throughout surface, awns (20)25-40(45) mm long, initially straight, later sharply bent aside. Palea narrowed toward apex, subequal to lemma, finely spinulate between keels or shortly hairy in upper part. Anthers 1.5-2.7 mm long. Flowers in June - August. Anemophilous. 2n=28.


West and East Siberia, Central Asia, Far East, Northern Mongolia, China.


In montane-steppe and forest-steppe zones in steppe and upland meadows, forest fringes, in dry thinned forests, white birch woodlands, shrubberies, in forest zone on exposed stony southern steppe slopes; sometimes thrives in fallows.

Use and economic value.

Forage grass.


Kharkevich SS., ed. 1985. Vascular plants of the Soviet Far East. V.1. Leningrad: Nauka. 398 p. (In Russian).
Malyshev LI., Peshkova GA., ed. 1990. Flora of Siberia. V.4. Poaceae (Gramineae). Novosibirsk: Nauka. 361 p. (In Russian).
Tzvelev NN. 1976. Grasses of the Soviet Union. Leningrad: Nauka. 788 p. (In Russian).

© L.L.Malyshev

© Photo by N.Yu.Malysheva, L.L.Malyshev

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