Canada Wild Rye, Elymus canadensis
Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis) is a common prairie grass in the Arboretum that can be identified by its tightly clustered, bristly seed heads. Canada Wild Rye is a member of the Grass family (Poaceae) but compared to other prairie grasses, it has relatively shallow roots. This species grows to be 5 feet tall and typically begins flowering in July. The seeds of Canada Wild Rye remain attached to the plant throughout the winter months and are an important source of winter food for small mammals and birds.