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Taxon  Report  
Ammophila arenaria  (L.) Link
Beachgrass,   European beach grass,   European beachgrass
Ammophila arenaria is a perennial grasslike herb that is not native to California.
Cal-IPC rating: high
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Observation Search
~1983 records in California
redone or more occurrences
within a 7.5-minute quadrangle

Bloom Period
Genus: Ammophila
Family: Poaceae  
Category: angiosperm  
PLANTS group:Monocot
Jepson eFlora section: monocot

Wetlands: Occurs usually in non wetlands, occasionally in wetlands

Habitat: coastal

Communities: Coastal Strand

Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + PLANTS

Alternate Names:
iNatCalamagrostis arenaria
Information about  Ammophila arenaria from other sources

[Cal-IPC] Invasive: Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass) is a clumping perennial grass (family Poaceae) found in coastal dune systems from Santa Barbara County north. European beachgrass grows more densely than native American dunegrass (Leymus mollis), trapping passing sand and creating steep dunes that run parallel to the shoreline. This prevents new sand from reaching interior dunes, resulting in changes to the structure and ecology of dune ecosystems. Native plants often cannot compete with dense stands of European beachgrass. Cal-IPC Rating: High (link added by Mary Ann Machi)

[Wikipedia] Europe, North Africa coastlines native, Description, Noxious weed: Ammophila arenaria is a species of grass in the family Poaceae. It is known by the common names marram grass and European beachgrass.[2][3] It is one of two species of the genus Ammophila. It is native to the coastlines of Europe and North Africa where it grows in the sands of beach dunes. It grows from a network of thick rhizomes which give it a sturdy anchor in its sand substrate and allow it to spread upward as sand accumulates. These rhizomes can grow laterally by 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) in six months. One clump can produce 100 new shoots annually.[4] The rhizomes tolerate submersion in sea water and can break off and float in the currents to establish the grass at new sites. It is adapted to habitat made up of shifting, accreting sand layers, as well as that composed of stabilised dunes. A. arenaria is one of the most problematic noxious weeds of coastal California. This sand-adapted grass was introduced to the beaches of western North America during the mid-19th century to provide stabilization to shifting sand dunes. It grew readily and it can now be found from California to British Columbia. The grass is invasive in the local ecosystems, forming dense monotypic stands that crowd out native vegetation, reduce species diversity of native arthropods, and cover vital open stretches of sand used for nesting by the threatened western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus) (link added by Mary Ann Machi)

Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals. [web application]. 2024. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 07/25/2024).