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Intermountain Herbarium
Intermountain Herbarium (Utah State University)
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Secale cereale - cereal rye

Synonyms: Secale montanum, Secale strictum

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Introduced    Season: Cool
Habitat Description: Cultivated, but often escapes to roadsides and waste spaces.
Plant Communities: Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 4000 - 7000 feet

General Description

Desc: Plants 20 to 48 inches.
Identification notes: Erect often over 2 feet tall, annual grass with flat blades and dense terminal seedheads. Seedheads are a spike with long awns; solitary spikelets; narrow rigid glumes with slender points.
Grass Type: Annual  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): Y
Height with Seedheads: Greater than 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Unbranched  Seedhead Droops: Y
Flowering Period: May - Aug

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Greater than 1 inch   Three Awns: Y  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead is terminal and slightly flattened. Spikelets are mostly 2-flowered. Lemmas have a fringe of hairs on the margin of the keel and terminate in an awn. Seedhead nods when mature.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or involute  
Blade Notes: Leaves flat to involute and usually smooth or possibly rough on the top side.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Leaf sheaths are open and can be hairy or smooth.

Forage Value: Low to minor usage as forage, but many times used as cover.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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