Our Bay Wetlands Journey: Creeping Wild Rye

Our wetlands journey continues as we move up the shoreline to the mid-marsh region. Here, Creeping Wild Rye holds the job of a wetland engineer. It grows rapidly and sends green shoots away from the mother plant to create a strong foundation of roots.

Personality: Graceful, communal and tenacious

Special Talents: Can live for long periods without water (drought tolerant)

Friends: Butterflies, moths and nesting birds

Foes: Wild Mustard and Radish

Creeping wild rye provides vital habitat across the many ecosystems. It creates lush, dense patches of grass by reproducing through rhizomes, which are thick, modified stems that creep underground and are capable of producing roots and shoots at their nodes. These rhizomes create dense mats that hold onto the soil tightly, making them excellent erosion control engineers. Curiously, they seldom reproduce by seed, only making viable seed in the wild when they are heavily grazed, trampled, or burned.

Creeping Wild Rye by the Numbers

Creeping Wild Rye is one of 14 species that we plant as part of our habitat restoration work.

3,200 – Creeping Wild Rye propagated

$3.15 – Cost Per Plant

$10,080 – total cost of Creeping Wild Rye needed per year

The total cost for all the plants we grow each year is approximately $60,000. On Giving Tuesday we’re raising $20,000 toward this cost, and you can help. Give today or on December 3.