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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Elymus virginicus and Elymus hystrix as potential native cool-season forage grasses in the Northeast United States
Year: 2002
Author(s): Sanderson, M. A., Skinner, R. H., Kujawaski, J., van der Grinten, M.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 313
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Most forage grasses used in the northeastern United States are introduced species. Our objective was to evaluate northeastern collections of the native cool-season grasses Virginia wildrye and eastern bottlebrush grass for yield, persistence, and forage quality. Sixteen accessions and two commercial sources of Elymus virginicus and thriteen accessions and one commerical source of Elymus hystrix were transplanted into single-row field plots during the summer of 2000 at Beltsville, MD, Rock Springs, PA, and Big Flats, NY. Two orchardgrass cultivars were the control treatments. Yield and morphology (leaf width, length, mass; tiller density, plant height) data were collected during 2001 and 2002. Leaf morphology varied widely among accessions of both species. Yields of E. virginicus ranged from 8 to 57 grams of dry matter per plant in 2001. Yield of E. hystrix ranged from 4 to 40 grams of dry matter per plant in 2001. Orchardgrass plants were much more productive and yielded an average of 30 to 140 grams per plant. Both E. virginicus and E. hystrix were very sensitive to drought. E. hystrix was eliminated at Rock Springs by insect damage to growing points and roots. These results indicate limited potential as productive forage grasses for these native grasses without genetic improvement.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall