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

Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass)


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


Allergen Potential [1]  High
Screening - Summer [2]  Moderate
Screening - Winter [2]  Moderate
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
Vegetative Spread Rate [2]  Rapid
Flower Color [2]  Yellow
Foliage Color [2]  Green
Fruit Color [2]  Brown
Height [3]  3.936 feet (1.2 m)
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
View Plants For A Future Record : Ammophila arenaria

Protected Areas



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

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Svalbard Global Seed Vault


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

External References

USDA Plant Profile



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.
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License