Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel. - Chinese Lyme-grass.

Taxonomic position.

Family Poaceae Benth. genus Leymus Hochst.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial grass. Rhizomes long, creeping, string-like. Culms 30-80(100) cm tall, often glaucous, glabrous and smooth, arising by one or in bunches from horizontal rhizome, initially ascending, then erect, at base wrapped with covers of dark brown, fibrous sheaths of dead leaves. Sheaths smooth, leaf blades (2)3-8 mm wide and 5-20 cm long, bluish, flat but convolute lengthwise when drying, above sparsely long-hairy with thick glaucous veins studded with long patent hairs. Spikes (5)8-16(20) cm long, narrow-linear or oblong-linear, usually purplish- or pinkish-brown, interrupted in lower part; spikelets singular or in the middle part by 2 per spike shoulder. Spikelets 10-20 mm long, (3)5-7(8)-flowered. Glumes (3)6-8(9) mm long, 1-veined, linear-subulate, glabrous. Lemma 7-9 mm long, lanceolate, glabrous, smooth, gradually narrowed toward apex into short cusp or awn 0.5-1.5 mm long. Rhachilla subglabrous, covered with fine, poorly distinct spinules. Anthers 3.4-4.5 mm long. Flowers in June - August. Anemophilous. 2n=28.


West and East Siberia, Far East; China, Mongolia.


On steppified slopes, in subsaline meadows, subsaline steppes and steppified saline meadows, on riverine ridges and shingles. Quite often forms almost pure stands, thrives in fallows. As alien, occurs at roadsides and embankments.

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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