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Although its population has declined, particularly in Cook County, this is the dominant grass of beaches and sand dunes along southern Lake Michigan. The stiff ascending leaves provide Beach Grass with a unique appearance, making it easy to identify. The large inflorescence is also rather showy. Another species in this genus, the non-native Ammophila arenaria (European Beach Grass), differs by having much longer ligules. This latter species is not found in Illinois, although it has been introduced successfully along the Pacific coast in northwestern United States.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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