Despite its common use in prairie restorations, I have rarely seen this prairie grass growing naturally in open prairie in Manitoba. Instead, it usually occurs as loosely scattered, individual stems in open woodlands. Canada wild rye is tall – reaching up to 5 feet – with long (up to 10”), curving seed heads that have long, spreading awns. The entire plant may have a bluish tinge to it. Canada wild rye can grow in a wide range of habitats. It is short-lived (a few years), but will reseed itself.
Life Cycle: perennial, cool season
Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade
Bloom Period: June
Height: 3 – 5 ft
Soil: dry to medium