ELYMUS L. Wildrye, Wheatgrass
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose or rhizomatous, perennial. Culms erect or ascending or decumbent, glabrous or scabrous;
internodes hollow, or solid, terete. Leaves basal and cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete, margins open or
connate; auricles present or absent; ligules membranous; blades flat or folded or involute, linear, lax or stiff. Spikes
or spicate racemes (erect or drooping), bilateral or unilateral or not distinctly bilateral, rachis persistent or
disarticulating, pedicel short when present. Spikelets solitary or paired or ternate or in clusters at inflorescence
nodes, divergent or ascending or appressed, laterally compressed, disarticulation above the glumes, awned or awnless,
sessile or short pedicellate; florets 4-10, reduced floret at apex, callus glabrous or hairy; rachilla not
extending beyond upper floret; glumes 2, 1-11-veined, opposite or displaced relative to floret position, usually slightly
unequal, subulate or not subulate, shorter or longer than first floret, awned or awnless; lemmas 5-veined, membranous to
chartaceous to coriaceous, glabrous or hairy; apex entire (acuminate to obtuse), awned or awnless; awns when present apical;
paleas 2-veined, awnless, glabrous or hairy. Stamens 3; anthers yellow. Caryopses adnate to lemma and/or palea or free from
lemma and palea, longitudinally grooved or not grooved, dorsiventrally compressed. Base chromosome number x=7.
A genus of about 120 species. These grassland and shrubland species are adapted to temperate climates
with many important forage and weedy taxa.