Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Culms solitary or tufted, 30–80 cm tall, smooth, glabrous, but puberulent below spike. Leaf sheath longer or shorter than internode, glabrous; ligule 1–2 mm; leaf blade usually rolled, 10–15 × 0.4–0.7 cm, stiff, abaxial surface smooth, adaxial surface slightly scabrous. Spike 9–15 × 1–1.5 cm; rachis robust, puberulent; internodes 6–10 mm. Spikelets (1 or)2 or 3 per node, 1.5–2 cm, with 2–5 florets; rachilla puberulent. Glumes covering only base of lemma, oblong-lanceolate, 12–20 × 2–2.5 mm, 3–5-veined with keel-like midvein, puberulent, margin membranous. Lemma lanceolate, 5-veined, puberulent, apex mucronate; first lemma 12–14 mm. Palea slightly shorter than lemma, ciliolate along keels. Anthers 5–6 mm. Fl. and fr. May–Aug. 2n = 28.
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Physical Description

Perennials, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Rhizomes present, Rhizome elongate, creeping, stems distant, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems geniculate, decumbent, or lax, sometimes rooting at nodes, Stems mat or turf forming, Stems solitary, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems with inflorescence 1-2 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly basal, below middle of stem, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blade auriculate, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades 1-2 cm wide, Leaf blade margins folded, involute, or conduplicate, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Leaf blades scabrous, roughened, or wrinkled, Ligule pre sent, Ligule an unfringed eciliate membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence simple spikes, Inflorescence a dense slender spike-like panicle or raceme, branches contracted, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence single raceme, fascicle or spike, Inflorescence spikelets arranged in a terminal bilateral spike, Rachis dilated, flat, central axis to which spikelets are attached, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets sessile or subsessile, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelets paired at rachis nodes, Spikelets 3 per node, Spikelets distichously arranged, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or sube qual, Glumes distinctly unequal, Glumes equal to or longer than adjacent lemma, Glume equal to or longer than spikelet, Glumes awn-like, elongated or subulate, Glumes awned, awn 1-5 mm or longer, Glume surface hairy, villous or pilose, Glumes 1 nerved, Glumes 3 nerved, Lemma coriaceous, firmer or thicker in texture than the glumes, Lemma 5-7 nerved, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma awnless, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Palea keels winged, scabrous, or ciliate, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear, Caryopsis hairy at apex.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Elymus mollis Trinius in Sprengel, Neue Entdeck. Pflanzenk. 2: 72. 1821; E. arenarius Linnaeus var. coreensis Hackel; E. arenarius subsp. mollis (Trinius) Hultén; E. arenarius var. mollis (Trinius) Koidzumi; E. mollis var. coreensis (Hackel) Honda; Leymus arenarius (Linnaeus) Hochstetter subsp. mollis (Trinius) Tzvelev; Triticum molle (Trinius) F. Hermann.
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Type Information

Isotype for Elymus arenarius var. coreensis Hack.
Catalog Number: US 865947
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): U. Faurie
Locality: Prope Ouen-san, Corea, South Korea, Asia-Temperate
  • Isotype: Hackel, E. 1903. Bull. Herb. Boissier ser. 2. 3: 507.
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Isotype for Elymus mollis var. brevispicus Scribn. & J.G. Sm.
Catalog Number: US 726457
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): Collector unknown
Year Collected: 1895
Locality: St. Lawrence Bay, Chukotka, Russian Federation, Asia-Temperate
  • Isotype: Scribner, F. L. & Smith, J. G. 1898. U.S.D.A. Div. Agrostol. Bull. 11: 56.
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Isotype for Elymus capitatus Scribn.
Catalog Number: US 81644
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of alleged type specimen
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): W. H. Evans
Year Collected: 1897
Locality: Homer., Alaska, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Scribner, F. L. 1898. U.S.D.A. Div. Agrostol. Bull. 11: 55.
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Isotype for Elymus mollis var. brevispicus Scribn. & J.G. Sm.
Catalog Number: US 726423
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): Collector unknown
Year Collected: 1895
Locality: Siberia., Russian Federation, Asia-Temperate
  • Isotype: Scribner, F. L. & Smith, J. G. 1898. U.S.D.A. Div. Agrostol. Bull. 11: 56.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat & Distribution

Coastal pebbles and sands. Hebei, Liaoning, Shandong [Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia; N North America].
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Leymus mollis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Leymus mollis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 17
Specimens with Barcodes: 18
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Leymus mollis

Leymus mollis (syn. Elymus mollis) is a species of grass known by the common names American dune grass, American dune wild-rye, sea lyme-grass, strand-wheat,[1] and strand grass.[2] Its Japanese name is hamaninniku.[3] It is native to Asia, where it occurs in Japan, China, Korea, and Russia, and northern parts of North America, where it occurs across Canada and the northern United States, as well as Greenland.[1][2] It can also be found in Iceland.[1]

This is a rhizomatous perennial grass with erect stems growing up to 1.7 meters tall. The leaf blades can be nearly a meter long in ssp. mollis, and up to 1.5 centimeters wide. The flower spike is up to 34 centimeters long by 2 wide. Each spikelet may be up to 3.4 centimeters long and contain up to six florets. There are two subspecies. Subspecies villosissimus is mostly limited to arctic regions, and is mainly coastal. It is usually a smaller plant than ssp. mollis.[4] The two subspecies are otherwise hard to tell apart, even when growing sympatrically. The most reliable character to use to distinguish them is the type of hairs on the glumes and lemmas;[5] ssp. villosissimus has long, soft, sometimes shaggy hairs (villous), while ssp. mollis has fine, thin hairs (pilose), and generally fewer of them.[4] There is no awn.[1]

This grass usually grows in coastal habitat, especially on dunes. It can be an important part of dune ecology. The grass usually grows on the foredune and on embryo dunes, less often on the backdune.[6][7][8] It is one of the very first plants to establish in the process of ecological succession in the early stages of the development of a sand dune.[8] In these loose dunes facing the ocean the plants tolerate salt spray, salty sand, little to no fresh water, unstable substrates, occasional inundation during storms, low nutrient levels, and abrasion by wind, water, and ice storms. Seedlings may become buried. This type of environment causes stress in a plant. The grass grows from a large rhizome that anchors it into shifting and unstable sands. When there are many plants on a dune, their rhizomes form a network that helps to stabilize it, preventing erosion. The network becomes "the skeleton of the foredune."[6] This makes the grass a valuable species for landscape rehabilitation in native beach habitat.[7]

This grass hybridizes with a number of other species, including Psathyrostachys juncea, Leymus innovatus, Leymus salinus, and Leymus arenarius.[9] Hybrids with the latter species are not uncommon in southern Greenland.[10]

Other plants that occur with the grass include Lathyrus japonicus, Achillea millefolium, Festuca rubra,[8] Ammophila breviligulata, Rhus typhina, Rosa rugosa,[1] Arctanthemum arcticum.[5] It also grows with mosses such as Pleurozium shreberi and Polytrichum spp. and lichens such as Cladina spp.[8] It was observed to be one of the most common plants in the arctic nesting sites of the Snow Goose. It is thought that the geese prefer the overall ecosystem that hosts the grass, rather than favoring the grass itself.[5]

The grass has been studied for possible use in the science of wheat breeding. The two plants can be easily bred. The dune grass is stress-tolerant with its adaptation to harsh environments; breeders hope that some of these traits for stress tolerance can be transferred to wheat. Drought tolerance is of particular interest.[11][12]

This grass has had a number of other human uses. The Makah, Nitinaht, and Quileute used bunches of the thick roots to rub the body during bathing. Yupik peoples use the leaves to make mats, baskets, bags, and ropes for hanging fish to dry. The Hesquiat weave the leaves into handles for sacks. The Kwakwaka'wakw make baskets and hats from the leaves and traditionally have used them to line the boxes in which they cooked lupine roots. The Nitinaht used the pointed leaves to sew and tie. The Haisla and Hanaksiala used the grass to line pits in which they prepared the oil of the eulachon fish. The Quinault placed salal fruits on a bed of the leaves to dry.[13] Inuit in Canada have traditionally used Leymus mollis to treat stomach problems and to weave baskets. They used dried leaves to insulate their boots.[14]

While it is not a rare or threatened plant, its populations can be affected by processes that degrade and destroy its coastal habitat. Concerns include development, storm damage, and the impact of recreational activities.[1] In some areas it has been displaced by introduced species of plants, such as Ammophila arenaria.[3]

Cultivars available include 'Reeve' and 'Benson'. The latter was named for Benny Benson, the thirteen-year-old boy who designed the official flag of Alaska. It was bred for use in the revegetation of eroded dunes.[15]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Higman, P. J. and M. R. Penskar. 1999. Special plant abstract for Leymus mollis (American dune wild-rye). Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing, MI.
  2. ^ a b Leymus mollis. Germplasm Resources Information Network.
  3. ^ a b Plant propagation protocol for Leymus mollis ssp. mollis. Propagation Protocols for Pacific Northwest Plants. University of Washington. 2008.
  4. ^ a b Leymus mollis. Grass Manual Treatment.
  5. ^ a b c Aiken, S. G., et al. 2007. Leymus mollis ssp. villosissima. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.
  6. ^ a b Gagné, J. and G. Houle. (2002). Factors responsible for Honckenya peploides (Caryophyllaceae) and Leymus mollis (Poaceae) spatial segregation on subarctic coastal dunes. Am. J. Bot. 89(3) 479-485.
  7. ^ a b Goodman, T. Report on revegetation with Leymus mollis on the foredune at Ma-l’el Dunes Unit, Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. US Fish and Wildlife Service. Arcata, California. June, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d Imbert, E. and G. Houle. (2000). Ecophysiological differences among Leymus mollis populations across a subarctic dune system caused by environmental, not genetic, factors. New Phytologist 147 601-8.
  9. ^ Wang, R. R. and C. Hsaio. (1984). Morphology and cytology of interspecific hybrids of Leymus mollis. J. Hered. 75(6) 488-92.
  10. ^ Ahokas, H. and B. Fredskild. (1991). Coexistence and hybridization of Leymus mollis and L. arenarius in Greenland, and demarcation of the species by endospermal prolamins, leymins. Nordic Journal of Botany 11(4) 385–392.
  11. ^ Habora, M. E. E., et al. (2012). Identification of osmotic stress-responsive genes from Leymus mollis, a wild relative of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Breed. Sci. 62(1) 78–86.
  12. ^ Habora, M. E. E., et al. (2013). Cloning of allene oxide cyclase gene from Leymus mollis and analysis of its expression in wheat–Leymus chromosome addition lines. Breed. Sci. 63(1) 68–76.
  13. ^ Leymus mollis. Native American Ethnobotany Database. University of Michigan, Dearborn.
  14. ^ Clark, Courtenay. "Inuit ethnobotany and ethnoecology in Nunavik and Nunatsiavut, northeastern Canada." Université de Montréal. Dec 2012: 25. Accessed 4 Feb 2014.
  15. ^ Notice of naming and release of 'Benson' beach wildrye for vegetative production. State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources. Division of Agriculture/Plant Materials Center. 1991.
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