Plantae > Tracheophyta > Liliopsida > Poales > Poaceae > Ammophila > Ammophila arenaria

Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass)

Synonyms: Ammophila arenaria subsp. arundinacea; Ammophila arenaria var. arundinacea; Ammophila arundinacea; Arundo arenaria; Calamagrostis arenaria; Phalaris ammophila; Phalaris maritima; Psamma ammophila; Psamma arenaria

Wikipedia Abstract

Ammophila arenaria is a species of grass known by the common names European marram grass and European beachgrass. It is one of two species of the genus Ammophila (marram grass). It is native to the coastlines of Europe and North Africa where it grows in the sands of beach dunes. It is a perennial grass forming stiff, hardy clumps of erect stems up to 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) in height. It grows from a network of thick rhizomes which give it a sturdy anchor in its sand substrate and allow it to spread outward. These rhizomes can grow laterally by 2 metres (7 feet) in six months. One clump can produce 100 new shoots annually.
View Wikipedia Record: Ammophila arenaria


Invasive Species

Commonly known as marram grass, Ammophila arenaria is a beach grass native to Europe, the Mediterranean, and the coasts of the Black Sea. Widely distributed to stabilise and establish sand dunes for forestry plantings, property protection and erosion control, it can compete with and displace native vegetation communities and alter habitats with further consequences for invertebrate communities and bird species such as the 'Endangered (EN)' Chatham Island oystercatcher (see Haematopus chathamensis). Once established, it spreads through rigorous rhizome growth and is difficult and costly to control.
View ISSG Record: Ammophila arenaria


Height [3]  3.9 feet (1.2 m)
Allergen Potential [1]  High
Screening - Summer [2]  Moderate
Screening - Winter [2]  Moderate
Hardiness Zone Minimum [2]  USDA Zone: 7 Low Temperature: 0 F° (-17.8 C°) → 10 F° (-12.2 C°)
Light Preference [4]  Full Sun
Soil Acidity [4]  Moderate Acid
Soil Fertility [4]  Mostly Infertile
Soil Moisture [4]  Mostly Dry
Water Use [2]  Moderate
Flower Color [2]  Yellow
Foliage Color [2]  Green
Fruit Color [2]  Brown
Bloom Period [2]  Spring
Drought Tolerance [2]  Medium
Edible [3]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Fire Tolerance [2]  High
Flower Type [3]  Hermaphrodite
Frost Free Days [2]  5 months 25 days
Fruit/Seed Abundance [2]  Low
Fruit/Seed Begin [2]  Spring
Fruit/Seed End [2]  Summer
Growth Form [2]  Rhizomatous
Growth Period [2]  Spring, Fall
Growth Rate [2]  Moderate
Leaf Type [2]  Deciduous
Lifespan [3]  Perennial
Pollinators [3]  Wind
Propagation [2]  Bare Root, Sprig
Regrowth Rate [2]  Slow
Root Depth [2]  20 inches (51 cm)
Seed Spread Rate [2]  None
Seed Vigor [2]  Low
Seeds Per [2]  114000 / lb (251327 / kg)
Shape/Orientation [2]  Erect
Structure [5]  Grass
Usage [3]  The flowering stems and leaves are used for thatching, in basketry, making brooms etc; The rhizomes are used for making rope and mats; A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making paper; The stems are harvested in the summer, cut into usable pieces and soaked for 24 hours in clear water before cooking for 2 hours with soda ash. Beat the fibres in a ball mill for 1˝ hours. The fibres make a tan-brown paper; This plant has an extensive root system and grows naturally in sand dunes along the coast where it is very important for its action of binding the dunes and therefore allowing other plants to grow. It is much planted in sand dunes and other similar habitats for erosion control;
Vegetative Spread Rate [2]  Rapid
View Plants For A Future Record : Ammophila arenaria

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast 160731 England/Scotland, United Kingdom  
Bosco Pantano di Policoro e Costa Ionica Foce Sinni 2100 Italy  
Braunton Burrows 3328 England, United Kingdom
Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands 354692 Scotland, United Kingdom
Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries/ Bae Caerfyrddin ac Aberoedd 163340 Wales, United Kingdom
Culbin Bar 1514 Scotland, United Kingdom  
Dee Estuary/ Aber Dyfrdwy 39057 England/Wales, United Kingdom
Dornoch Firth and Morrich More 21499 Scotland, United Kingdom
Dorset Heaths (Purbeck and Wareham) and Studland Dunes 5491 England, United Kingdom
Fitzgerald River National Park II 732417 Western Australia, Australia
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve II 366714 British Columbia, Canada
Hoy 23474 Scotland, United Kingdom
Humber Estuary 90582 England, United Kingdom
Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve   Scotland, United Kingdom
Isles of Scilly Complex 66350 England, United Kingdom    
Kenfig/ Cynffig 2945 Wales, United Kingdom
Lewis Peatlands 69055 Scotland, United Kingdom  
Limestone Coast of South West Wales/ Arfordir Calchfaen de Orllewin Cymru 3940 Wales, United Kingdom  
Lizard Point 34565 England, United Kingdom    
Loch Moidart and Loch Shiel Woods 4341 Scotland, United Kingdom
Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh Reefs 5883 Scotland, United Kingdom  
Luce Bay and Sands 120487 Scotland, United Kingdom
Mendip Limestone Grasslands 1032 England, United Kingdom
Moray Firth 373987 Scotland, United Kingdom  
Morecambe Bay 151985 England, United Kingdom
Norfolk Island National Park II 1723 Australian external territories, Australia  
North Norfolk Coast 7926 England, United Kingdom  
North Northumberland Dunes 2836 England, United Kingdom  
North Pembrokeshire Woodlands/ Coedydd Gogledd Sir Benfro 780 Wales, United Kingdom  
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve II 137900 British Columbia, Canada
Pantani della Sicilia sud-orientale, Morghella, di Marzamemi, di Punta Pilieri e Vendicari 8481 Italy  
Pembrokeshire Marine/ Sir Benfro Forol 341177 Wales, United Kingdom  
Pen Llyn a`r Sarnau/ Lleyn Peninsula and the Sarnau 360832 Wales, United Kingdom
Reserva de la Biosfera de Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve V 1777 Spain  
Sefton Coast 11278 England, United Kingdom
Severn Estuary/ MĂ´r Hafren 182155 England/Wales, United Kingdom
Solway Firth 107829 England/Scotland, United Kingdom
South Uist Machair 8482 Scotland, United Kingdom
South Wight Maritime 49082 England, United Kingdom
Tammisaaren ja Hangon saariston ja Pohjanpitäjänlahden merensuojelualue 130052 Finland  
The Wash and North Norfolk Coast 266284 England, United Kingdom
Tweed Estuary 385 England, United Kingdom  
Waddensea of Hamburg Biosphere Reserve 31422 Germany  
Y Fenai a Bae Conwy/ Menai Strait and Conwy Bay 65440 Wales, United Kingdom  


Actebia praecox (Portland Moth)[6]
Agrotis innominata[7]
Agrotis ripae (Sand Dart)[6]
Agrotis vestigialis (Archer's Dart)[6]
Amarenomyces ammophilae[8]
Anerastia lotella[6]
Apamea oblonga (Crescent Striped)[6]
Asteromyces cruciatus[8]
Atrococcus paludinus (marsh mealybug)[9]
Balanococcus danthoniae[9]
Calcarius lapponicus (Lapland Longspur)[8]
Cerodontha superciliosa[6]
Chorosoma schillingi <Unverified Name>[6]
Chortinaspis subterranea[9]
Coprinopsis ammophilae (Dune Inkcap)[8]
Eriococcus ammophilus[9]
Eriococcus greeni (Newstead's felt scale)[9]
Euxoa cursoria (Coast Dart)[6]
Euxoa tritici[6]
Hipparchia semele (Grayling)[6]
Hohenbuehelia culmicola (Marram Oyster)[8]
Ischnodemus sabuleti[6]
Laingia psammae[6]
Lasiocampa trifolii (Grass Eggar)[6]
Lecanopsis clodiensis[9]
Longicoccus psammophilus (sand-loving mealybug)[9]
Marasmius epodius[8]
Meromyza pratorum[6]
Mesoligia furuncula (Cloaked Minor)[6]
Mesoligia literosa[6]
Mycena chlorantha[8]
Mycocalia duriaeana (Dune Cannon)[8]
Mycosphaerella lineolata[8]
Mycosphaerella psammae[8]
Mythimna litoralis <Unverified Name>[6]
Neides tipularius[6]
Orthosia opima (Northern Drab)[6]
Otiorhynchus atroapterus[6]
Persectania aversa[7]
Phaeosphaeria marram[8]
Phaeosphaeria vagans[8]
Phenacoccus balagnus[9]
Phenacoccus eschscholtziae (California poppy mealybug)[9]
Phenacoccus incertus (uncertain mealybug)[9]
Pionosomus opacellus[6]
Plectrophenax nivalis (Snow Bunting)[8]
Podops inuncta <Unverified Name>[6]
Psammotettix sabulicola[6]
Psathyrella ammophila[8]
Psathyrella flexispora[8]
Ramaricium albo-ochraceum[8]
Rhizoecus rumicis (Grassroot mealybug)[7]
Rhodesia subtecta[8]
Rhyparochromus quadratus quadratus[6]
Schizaphis rufula[6]
Septoria ammophilae[8]
Stagonospora arenaria[8]
Taphrophila trichella[8]
Tetramesa eximia[8]
Thalpophila matura (Straw Underwing)[6]
Thyrostromella myriana[8]
Trigonotylus psammaecolor[6]
Trionymus tomlini (guernsey grass mealybug)[9]
Trionymus utahensis (Utah grass mealybug)[9]
Vararia gallica[8]
Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic)[6]


Parasitized by 
Blumeria graminis[8]
Psammina bommeriae[8]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Svalbard Global Seed Vault


N. & W. Europe; North America; Oceania;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Derived from Allergy-Free Gardening OPALS™, Thomas Leo Ogren (2000)
2USDA Plants Database, U. S. Department of Agriculture
3Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
4ECOFACT 2a Technical Annex - Ellenberg’s indicator values for British Plants, M O Hill, J O Mountford, D B Roy & R G H Bunce (1999)
5Kattge, J. et al. (2011b) TRY - a global database of plant traits Global Change Biology 17:2905-2935
6Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
7New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Plant-SyNZ™ database
8Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
9Ben-Dov, Y., Miller, D.R. & Gibson, G.A.P. ScaleNet 4 November 2009
Protected Areas provided by GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access