Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Secale cereale
cultivated rye

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, wastelots, and other disturbed areas.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual, Biennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Annual, the culms hollow, 6-15 dm. tall.


Sheaths open; auricles prominent; ligules 1 mm. long; blades flat, 4-10 mm. broad.


Inflorescence a terminal spike 8-15 cm. long; spikelets 1 per node, borne flatwise on the rachis, sessile, 2-flowered; florets usually 2, placed side-by-side, the rachilla prolonged between the two; glumes stiff, awl-like, 1-nerved, shorter than the lemmas; lemmas keeled asymmetrically, 5-nerved, curved, with awns 4-7 cm. long.

Accepted Name:
Secale cereale L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 84 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Triticum cereale (L.) Salisb.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Secale cereale in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Secale cereale checklist entry

OregonFlora: Secale cereale information

E-Flora BC: Secale cereale atlas page

CalPhotos: Secale cereale photos

43 photographs:
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