Elymus virginicus is a perennial C3 grass (Basinger 2002), tufted, 50-120 cm tall.
Leaves alterate, 6-10, flat 0.4-1.3 cm wide, rough on both sides, yellow-green, often rather crowded near top of stem.
Flower spikelets with glumes thickened, rigid, 1-3 cm long, 0.1-0.2 cm wide, base bowed out, almost cylindrical, exposing florets, becoming wider above, and tapering to a short awn, florets 2, lemma firm, 0.6-0.9 cm, long-awned to 3.5 cm (occasionally awnless), palea 0.6-0.8 cm, blunt; inflorescence spike narrow, stiff, erect, dense, 4-12 cm, yellow-green, base often tucked inside uppermost leaf sheath June-Oct. (Brown 1979).
Wetland status: FACW-.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Habitat: Moist open meadows, woods, open, sandy soil pH 5-7 (USDA, NRCS 2010).
Notes: Plants shown to be infected by symbiotic endophytic fungi Acremonium sp. and Epichloë elymi. (Clavicipitaceae, Ascomycota), (Clay and Leuchtmann 1989; Schardl and Leuchtmann 1999). Not all populations spontaneous, often planted in restorations. Elymus virginicus.Matthew C. Perry.www.pwrc.usgs.gov (Accessed 5/2014). [contact9/24/14]