Intertidal Organisms EZ-ID GUIDES


on this species


Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass)

photo of European beach grass
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.      


This page was created by Mary Jo Adams on 8/22/06.



photo of European beach grass

photo of beach grass seed head

photo of comparison of beach grass and dune grass blades