Common name(s): European Beachgrass
Family: Poaceae - Perrenial Grasses
Species: Ammophila arenaria
Commonly found: Coastal Strand communities
Size: 1 to 4 feet tall
Origin: Invasive, native to Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia.
Description: European Beachgrass is a coarse, tough perennial with thick rhizomes or underground stems. The above-ground stems are 2 to 5 feet tall and are produced in clumps. The flowers are borne in spikelets arranged in long, slightly open clusters. European Beachgrass is a very invasive plant that was introduced to the dunes along railroad tracks and at the margins of agricultural fields because of its ability to hold sand. It prevents new sand from reaching the interior dunes, resulting in changes to the structure and ecology of dune ecosystems. Native plants often cannot compete with dense stands of European Beachgrass.
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