Elymus virginicus L. var. virginicus

Locations ofElymus virginicus L. var. virginicus in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Elymus virginicus L. var. virginicus
Common Name
Virginia Wild Rye
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Elymus virginicus L.
Elymus virginicus is a polymorphic species with several named varieties, which were all lumped under a broad species concept in previous hard-copy editions of the Atlas. There is considerable debate about whether or not these varieties are worthy of recognition. Considering the further complication of recognizing E. glabriflorus and E. macgregorii of the larger E. virginicus complex, it is not likely to be resolved soon!

The map produced here likely contains records for all the vars., but is also likely to be representative of var. virginicus, the most widespread and common of the segregates in Virginia, probably in every county.
The species is common in floodplain forests, alluvial swamps, riverbanks and bars, moist to wet clearings, low fields, tidal marshes and swamps, upper borders of salt marshes, interdune swales, and disturbed maritime habitats; occasionally in mesic to dry-mesic upland forests. It is apparently common throughout, although the inclusion of Elymus glabriflorus and E. macgregorii under this name in most Virginia floristic studies casts some doubt on the reliability of herbarium records; a critical review of specimens in this group is warranted. The status of the four vars. has not been determined, although field and herbarium studies suggest that var. virginicus is common and widespread over the full range of habitats in the state.
Native Status

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