Leymus condensatus

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Species Name: Leymus condensatus
Common Name: Giant Wild Rye

Native giant wild rye is recommended for erosion control on slopes and hillsides. Easy to grow, it spreads by underground roots. Excellent wildlife value. Often found under native oaks.

Plant Family: Poaceae
Plant Type: Grass
Height by Width: 4' H x spreading
Growth Habit: Clumping, spreading
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 15 degrees F
Flower Season: Summer
Flower Color: Seedhead
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: Central Western CA, South Western CA, Mojave Desert
Natural Habitat: Dry slopes, open woodland, below 4,500'

Songbird iconA.jpg Oak iconA.jpg Butterfly iconA.jpg Clay iconA.jpg Slope iconA.jpg

Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: A tall growing ornamental grass that is found growing on hillsides among the chaparral, generally in locatinos where there is slight shade, and in the open along the coast. It forms large clumps, throwing up many tall stems with plume-like heads and is interesting for planting among shrubs. Gallon cans, 40c."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.
  • Harlow, Nora and Kristin Jakob. Wild Lilies, Irises, and Grasses: Gardening with California Monocots. Berkely and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. 2003.