Leymus arenarius - (L.)Hochst.
Common Name Lyme Grass, Sand ryegrass
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dunes by the coast, often in association with Ammophila arenaria[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain and Siberia. N. America.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

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Leymus arenarius Lyme Grass, 	Sand ryegrass

Leymus arenarius Lyme Grass, 	Sand ryegrass
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Leymus arenarius is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 2 m (6ft 7in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Leymus arenarius. (L.)Hochst.

 Ground Cover;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Seed.
Edible Uses:

Seed - cooked[2, 105]. It can be ground into a flour and used to make bread[13]. A delicious taste[183] but very fiddly to use, the seed is small and hard to extract[K]. When cooked like rice, it can be used as a sweet or savoury dish. Mixed 50/50 with wheat flour it adds a richness to biscuits etc[183]. The protein content of this grain is said to rival that of red beans or salmon[183]. (This report seems somewhat surprising, protein levels are not usually anywhere near that high in a cereal[K].)
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses
Fibre;  Soil stabilization;  Weaving.

The leaves are used for making mats, rope, paper etc[46, 61]. The plants have a very extensive root system and so they are often planted near the coast in order to stabilize sand dunes[190, 200]. They can also be used as a ground cover for sandy open spaces but can be invasive[200, 208].
Cultivation details
Staple Crop: Balanced carb;  Wild-collected as Food.

An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils, preferring a sandy soil[1] and a sunny position[162]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[190]. A very invasive plant, spreading by means of its wide-ranging roots[1, 187]. Cultivated in Japan for making mats etc[46, 61]. The Viking settlers of Iceland cultivated this plant until the beginning of the 20th century for its edible seed[183].
Seed - sow mid spring in situ and only just cover the seed[162]. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. If the supply of seed is limited, it can also be sown in mid spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in summer[K] Division in spring or summer[162]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Leymus condensatusGiant Wild Rye21
Leymus racemosusVolga Wild Rye, Mammoth wildrye30
Leymus triticoidesSquaw Grass, Beardless wildrye30


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Botanical References
Links / References
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Readers comment
Lauren Horner   Wed Sep 20 2006
I am researching Leymus Arenarius as part of course work for biology, the relationship with soil water content on sand dunes, if anyone has a information i would be very greatful for an email. [email protected]
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Subject : Leymus arenarius  

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