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Products > Leymus triticoides Lagunita
Leymus triticoides Lagunita - Lagunita™ Wild Rye

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Leymus triticoides Lagunita
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Wheat
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [Elymus condensatus var. triticoides]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: Running
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10° F
Leymus triticoides Lagunita (Lagunita™ Creeping Wild Rye) A selection of an evergreen rhizomatous native California grass selected by John Greenlee in the mid-1990s. This selection of Creeping Wild Rye is shorter than most forms, growing only 12 to 18 inches tall with rich green colored leaf blades that remain upright and evergreen long into summer, after many native grasses have gone dormant and turned brown. This clone is noted for its vegetative features and rarely produces the narrow erect unbranched flower spikes of the species. Plant in full to part sun with occasional to infrequent irrigation in a wide range of soil conditions, including dune sand to heavy clay, but is at its best in a nice sandy loam. This drought tolerant grass has gone through most of a summer without the need for any irrigation but looks its best with 1 to 2 times per month irrigation, depending on soil and climatic conditions but it also tolerates regular irrigation and seasonal inundation. This selection has only been cold tested to 18° F but the species grows in far colder regions and likely this plant will prove root hardy to at least 0° F and so useful in USDA Zones 7 and above. John Greenlee's own test plantings have showed it to have good tolerance in coastal plantings to first exposure seacoast conditions and the ability to survive without summer irrigation, staying green late into summer. He recommends giving it an occasional summer watering which keeps it evergreen year round and more attractive and also likely decreases the chances of it burning and carrying a fire. This amazing grass is perfect for use as the base plant to knit together flowering perennials, bulbs and accent grasses for a natural meadow planting and, because it tolerates both wet and dry, for use in a bioswale. It is also being evaluated by sod producers as an alternative native lawn grass with testing on mowing showing that it can maintained at a 4 inch height, and possibly lower, by use of a conventional rotary mower or string trimmer (weed whip). For a natural meadow look this plant can be mowed a couple times a year, preferably at times when bulbs and perennials are down or dormant. This Lagunita clone was discovered by John Greenlee on a ranch near the Laguna River north of Santa Cruz, where its low height in a solid colony, growing without irrigation, attracted his attention. Most clones of Creeping Wild Rye are grayer colored, much taller (to 3 to 4 feet tall) and often lay over with age, which this one does not do. Lagunita also produces few, if any, flower spikes so remains tidy and also it is not known to spread by seed. Leymus triticoides has been known to naturally hybridize with Leymus condensatus [Elymus condensatus] and Leymus mollis [Elymus mollis] so there is the possibility that this plant is a hybrid or perhaps \ a selection of Pacific Wildrye, a little known species that grows along the Pacific coast from Mendocino to Santa Barbara counties and is known to rarely flower. Leymus triticoides is native to moist bottom lands throughout much of the west from British Columbia south into Baja California and Sonora Mexico and east to Texas. It is found throughout California where it can be found growing in subalpine pine and fir forests to along the coast, including foothill woodland, valley grassland and wetland-riparian plant communities, often in heavy and saline soils. The name for the genus has gone back and forth between Elymus and its anagram Leymus. The current name in the Jepson California Flora has it back as Elymus, which comes from the Greek word 'elyo' meaning "rolled up" or "covered" in reference to grain being tightly covered by the floral parts, the palea and lemma. However the Grass Manual in the Flora of North America continues to list has Leymus as the correct name. To avoid confusion for our customer we will continue to use Leymus. The specific epithet means "like Triticum", in reference to the flower resembling those in the genus of wheat (Triticum aestivum). Other common names include Wild-Rye, Valley Wild-Rye, Alkali Rye, Beardless Wild Rye and Beardless Lyme Grass. We thank John Greenlee from allowing us to grow this grass and use his trademarked "Lagunita" name and for the pictures of it that he has provided. More information about this plant can be found on his website at Leymus triticoides 'Lagunita'. A great grass for kniting the meadow plants together but is best purchased in plugs from John Greenlee and we discontinued production of it in 2020. 

This information about Leymus triticoides Lagunita displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.