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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 83. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A genus of about 100 species in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere; 20 species occur in Pakistan, 1 of them with an introduced subspecies.
Comment/Acknowledgements: At one time the genus consisted only of those species with more than 1 spikelet at each inflorescence node, but with recent changes in generic concepts in the tribe it now includes those species of Agropyron without keeled glumes. Further-more, species formerly included in Elymus having narrow glumes covering the sides of the lower florets have been transferred to Leymus.

The following hyrides have been reported from Pakistan. They are generally intermediate between their putative parents and some of them are sterile. None has yet been thoroughly investigated cytologically and experimentally to confirm its origin.

Elymus cognatus x dasystachys (x Agroelymus pamiricus (Meld.) Meld.)

Elymus cognatus x nutans (x Agroelymus koelzii Meld.)

Elymus dentatusy x fedtschenkoi (Agropyron x nothum Meld.)

Elymus dentatus x russellii (Agropyron x spurium Meld.)

Elymus fedtschenkoi x longe-aristatus subsp. canaliculatus (Agropyron x interjacens Meld.)


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Tufted or rhizomatous perennials. Leaf-blades flat or convolute. Inflorescence a spike. Spikelets 2-11-flowered, sessile or very shortly pedicelled, imbricate, solitary or in groups of 2-3 at the nodes of the tough rhachis; rhachilla disarticulating above the glumes and between the florets, or sometimes the spikelets falling entire; glumes 1-11-nerved, awned or awnless, rounded on the back or sometimes keeled towards the tip; lemmas 5-nerved, awned or awnless; palea 2-keeled.

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1 Spikelets in groups of 2-3 in the middle part of the rhachis (2)
+ Spikelets solitary at all nodes of the rhachis (3)
2 (1) Glumes much shorter than the lowest lemma (awns excluded) Elymus nutans
+ Glumes almost as long to as long as the lowest lemma (awns excluded) Elymus dahuricus
3 (1) Lemma with an awn at least as long as itself (4)
+ Lemma awnless or with a short awn not as long as the body of the lemma (14)
4 (3) Awn of the lemma straight or slightly flexuous (5)
+ Awn of the lemma strongly recurved at maturity (9)
5 (4) Palea shorter than the lemma, about three quarters as long Elymus semicostatus
+ Palea as long as or slightly longer than the lemma, rarely slightly shorter but then the glumes abruptly contracted to an awn or awn-like cusp (6)
6 (5) Glumes oblong-elliptic, very firm, abruptly contracted at the tip to an awn or awn-like cusp; lemma long-hairy on the margins, glabrous on the back, anthers 4-5.5 mm long Elymus borianus
+ Glumes and lemmas not as above; anthers 2-3 mm long (7)
7 (6) Lemmas minutely bristly or puberulous Elymus russellii
+ Lemmas entirely glabrous or scabrid only near the tip (8)
8 (7) Leaf-sheaths glabrous along the margins; paleatip pointed or 2-toothed Elymus caninus
+ Leaf-sheaths ciliate along the margins; palea-tip rounded or broadly emarginate Elymus kuramensis
9 (4) Glumes almost as long as the lowest lemma (awns excluded) Elymus fedtschenkoi
+ Glumes considerably shorter than the lowest lemma (awns excluded) (10)
10 (9) Rhachilla twisted above the glumes bringing the florets ± dorsiventral to the spike-axis; midrib of lower glume not in line with that of lowest lemma Elymus schrenkianus
+ Rhachilla not twisted above the glumes; midrib of lower glume in line with that of lowest lemma (11)
11 (10) Anthers 1.5-2.5 mm long (12)
+ Anthers (2.5-) 3-3.5 mm long
12 (11) Leaf-blades shortly and densely pubescent on both sides, flat or loosely rolled Elymus schugnanicus
+ Leaf-blades glabrous beneath, pubescent or loosely hairy above, flat, tightly folded or convolute (13)
13 (12) Glumes acuminate or with an awn up to 2 mm long; lemma body 8-9 mm long Elymus jacquemontii
+ Glumes with an awn (2.5-)4-10 mm long; lemma body 11-12.5 mm long Elymus himalayanus
14 (3) Plant loosely tufted, with long creeping rhizomes (15)
+ Plants loosely to densely tufted, without rhizomes (17)
15 (14) Anthers 2-25 mm long; glumes usually toothed at the tip, sometimes acuminate or shortly awned; lemma minutely bristly Elymus dentatus
+ Anthers 3.5-6(-8) mm long, glumes blunt or acuminate; lemma hairy or glabrous (16)
16 (15) Glumes acute, mucronate or shortly awned Elymus repens
+ Glumes obtuse or obliquely truncate Elymus hispidus
17 (14) Lemma scaberulous all over the back; anthers 2-2.5 mm long Elymus mutabilis
+ Lemma smooth and glabrous on the back, sometimes the nerves thinly scabrid towards the tip (18)
18 (17) Anthers 2-2.5 mm long; glumes scaberulous on the nerves Elymus stewartii
+ Anthers 3-5 mm long; glumes quite smooth (19)
19 (18) Glumes obtuse or truncate; leaf-sheaths sometimes ciliate along the margins Elymus nodosus
+ Glumes acute; leaf-sheaths glabrous along the margins Elymus cognatus
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