Page authors: David Giblin, Don Knoke
Leymus mollis
American dunegrass

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington along the immediate marine coastline; Alaska to California, east across Canada to the Great Lakes region and northeastern North America.

Habitat: Coastal sand dunes, marshes, and headlands, where tolerant of salt water.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Strong perennial with thick rhizomes but forming large clumps, the culms stout, erect, 5-15 dm. tall, usually finely hairy above.


Sheaths open, glabrous; auricles developed on some leaves; ligules up to 1 mm. long; blades tough, flat, 6-15 mm. broad, with numerous prominent nerves.


Inflorescence a terminal, stout spike 15-30 cm. long and 1-2 cm. thick; spikelets usually two per node, 20-30 mm. long and 4- to 6-flowered; glumes lanceolate, acuminate, 15-25 mm. long, prominently 3- to 6-nerved, usually soft-pubescent; lemmas prominently nerved, 10-20 mm. long, acuminate but not awned, usually copiously soft-hairy; paleas about equal to the lemmas.

Accepted Name:
Leymus mollis (Trin.) Pilg.
Publication: Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 74(1): 6. 1947.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Elymus arenarius L. ssp. mollis (Trin.) Hultén
Elymus arenarius L. var. scabrinervis (Bowden) B. Boivin
Elymus mollis Trin. [HC]
Leymus arenarius (L.) Hochst. ssp. mollis (Trin.) Tzvelev
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Leymus mollis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Leymus mollis checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Leymus mollis information.

E-Flora BC: Leymus mollis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Leymus mollis photos.

USDA Plants: Leymus mollis information.

13 photographs:
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