Wild Rye grasses are fast growing and form tidy clumps, approximately one metre tall. This plant is available as seedling plugs or in pots, and Canada Rye also establishes very well from direct-sown seed. Since it germinates so quickly, without too much care, it is open used to stabilize slopes, and help prevent erosion. Also, because it is an early successional species and take hold of a site right away, it is able to complete with many non-native weeds, and help to deflect potential invasions. Check out our Wild-type Seed Mixes for your next habitat restoration project.
Like many grassland species, Canada Rye responds well to disturbance, and may require periodic splitting of clumps in a garden setting, or periodic mowing (or prescribed burning) in a naturalized setting.
One of our more charismatic native grasses, Canada Wild Rye flowers in spring, developing into a furry, pendulous seed-head, each seed tipped with a corkscrew awn. It’s attractive foliage is distinctly blue until the seed ripens in late summer. The golden-brown seed-heads can add late season interest and texture to your garden.