Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass)
Copyright © 2006
Mary Jo Adams
This species was introduced in the late 1800s in an effort to stabilize sand dunes along the U.S. West Coast. In the years since, it has spread, replacing native dunegrass (Leymus mollis) and creating major changes in the habitat. European beachgrass does a better job of binding sand than the native species and that tendency results in the formation of higher dunes, literally changing the landscape and impacting many native species.
European beachgrass grows to a height of 4-5 feet and has a blade width of 1/12-1/6 inch (2-4 mm). The blades are yellow-green. It belongs to the grass family and another common name for it is marram grass.
page was created by Mary Jo Adams on 8/22/06.