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Virginia Wildrye is a native cool season grass with an extensive range throughout North America. It is found from Arizona to the East Coast of the US and across the southern provinces of Canada. Habitats include the edges of forests and floodplains, bottomlands, open woods, shaded banks, thickets, and disturbed sites. It prefers rich, moist soils; however, Virginia Wildrye readily adapts to inhospitable and intermittently dry conditions. Elymus virginicus produces hanging, bristly seed heads in spring. Foliage is green with a blue tint in its nodules. This native grass is useful in the landscape for rain gardens, banks and slopes, and meadows, in shade or sun. It can handle intermittent dry spells once established. Its foliage is palatable to livestock and skipper butterflies use it as a larval host. Seedheads provide food for game birds.
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