Celebrating and conserving the ecological richness of California's grasslands

Elymus elymoides (squirreltail)

Subspecies and Varieties:

... ssp. hordeoides

... var. brevifolius

... var. californicus

... var. elymoides

... var. hordeoides

Squirreltail is early successional and has low standards in soils requirements (does not need well developed top soil, high nutrient fertility, etc.) for growth and establishment.  Squirreltail has a wide ecological amplitude and come in on freshly disturbed sites that have suitable temperatures and moisture. Squirreltail is known to dominate for several years post-disturbance and acts as a facilitator for native perennials that require more well developed soils by stabilizing the soil with their rooting structures, adding organic matter through litter and nutrient turnover by their roots, and slowing water infiltration to increase its residence time on site to enhance soil biological activity. A good stand of squirreltail is great news for soil stabilization and the beginning steps of succession for restoration a site. 

 --Kendra Moseley, November 2019

Elymus elymoides. USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1: 288. 

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