Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Quackgrass - Elymus repens   (L.) Gould
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(L.) Gould
DistributionMostly Mountains and northern Piedmont; several records from the central Coastal Plain; disjunct to Currituck County (along the Intracoastal Waterway).

Native of Eurasia; widespread in Canada and the U.S. south to SC, AZ.
AbundanceFrequent in the Mountains and northern Piedmont; uncommon in the Coastal Plain, but rare in the northeastern corner.
HabitatRoadsides, fields, fallow crop fields, meadows, pastures, along railroads, other disturbed ground.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-August.
IdentificationQuackgrass is a medium-tall grass (2-3 feet) with a slender, spike-like inflorescence. Each spikelet occurs singly per node (rarely 2), is erect, has 4-7 florets, and which may or may not have a short awn. Each spikelet is turned so that the broad side faces the stem. At a distance it can easily be mistaken for Lolium, whose spikelets are turned so that the narrow side faces the stem.
Taxonomic CommentsLong known as Agropyron repens.

Ryegrasses or Wild-ryes (genus Elymus) are noted by their evenly spaced leaves and elongate, terminal inflorescence that recall cultivated rye or wheat. Each floret produces several long, skinny awns. Identification of some species requires a dissecting scope or at least a 10x handlens.
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