Dactylis glomerata - L.
Orchard Grass
Other English Common Names: Orchardgrass
Other Common Names: orchardgrass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Dactylis glomerata L. (TSN 193446)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.145567
Element Code: PMPOA1Y020
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Dactylis
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Dactylis glomerata
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (11Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Alaska (SNA), Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNA), Hawaii (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (SNA), Saskatchewan (SNA), Yukon Territory (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AKexotic, ALexotic, ARexotic, AZexotic, CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, FLexotic, GAexotic, HIexotic, IAexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KSexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MOexotic, MSexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NDexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NVexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, SDexotic, TNexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, MBexotic, NBexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic, SKexotic, YTexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Unknown
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Occurring in every state in the U.S., the species is not linked to any significant ecosystem or community effects.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 05Dec2005
Evaluator: Fellows, M., rev. A. Tomaino (2005)
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Europe (Gleason and Cronquist 1991; Weber 2003).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Established outside cultivation in the U.S. (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: "thoroughly established ... sometimes escaping into natural habitats" (Voss 1985).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Could increase risk of fast-spreading, low-intensity fires (Sullivan 1992).

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: Can grow to 1.2 m tall (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). No mention of major impacts on ecological community structure found in the literature; assumption is that any impacts are not major.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Low significance
Comments: Used for rehabilitation and erosion control after burns, thought to be successionally replaced by native plants, but not necessarily desirable timber species or native forbs (Sullivan 1992). Along with Cynosurus echinatus, Dactylis glomerata has become the dominant grass in several Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) assocations (Sullivan 1992).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No mention of disproportionate impacts on particular native species found in the literature; assumption is that any impacts are not significant.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance
Comments: Inferred - grows anywhere (Voss 1985; Gleason and Cronquist 1991; Sullivan 1992; Kartesz 1999).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Every state in U.S. (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Seed is declared noxious in 6 mid-Atlantic states (no state has it on invasive species list, watch list or noxious weed lists) (GRIN 2001). Declared the worst invasive species (based on significance of impact, difficulty in control or management, and urgency of control or management) in Garry Oak Ecosystems in British Columbia (ESSA 2004).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High significance
Comments: Potential to occur in all ecoregions - inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001). Many cultivars have been adapted for different climates (Sullivan 1992).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:High significance
Comments: Wetland plant, alpine to subalpine plant (Kartesz 1999). Moist fields, meadows, lawns and roadsides (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). Woods and shores (Voss 1985). Several types of grasslands, prairie, scrub, fir and pine forests (Sullivan 1992).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Low significance
Comments: Generalized range already covers most of region (Kartesz 1999).

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Current generalized range covers more than 30% of region (Kartesz 1999).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Broadly sown for forage, but this practice in decline in 1940's (Deam 1940). Important forage grass; almost all seed produced in Oregon (Stratton and Ohm 1989). Widely recommended for rehabilitation following fire (Sullivan 1992).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: Establishes on disturbed sites (Weber 2003). Assumption is that disturbed areas are not decreasing or remaining stable and therefore this species' local range is not decreasing or remaining stable.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Establishes on disturbed sites (Weber 2003). According to an NRCS (2002) evaluation of 4 cultivars of Dactylis glomerata, establishes only in areas where major disturbance has occurred in the last 20 years.

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Moderate significance
Comments: Canada (Kartesz 1999); Australia (Weber 2003) sand dunes in native range (Weber 2003).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Reproduces via seed and can increase girth by tiller formation, no seed bank, under good conditions may flower twice a year (Sullivan 1992). Seed production 'high' (Weber 2003). According to an NRCS (2002) evaluation of 4 cultivars of Dactylis glomerata, seeds remain viable in the soil for more than 4 years.

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Either increases or remains stable when managed with fire (Sullivan 1992). Remove crown by digging (Weber 2003). Can be controlled with one chemical treatment or mechanical treatment (NRCS 2002).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium/Low significance
Comments: No seed bank (Sullivan 1992). According to an NRCS (2002) evalutaion of 4 cultivars of Dactylis glomerata, seeds remain viable in the soil for more than 4 years.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Chemical control measures will have moderate effects on other plants (NRCS 2002).

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High/Low significance
Comments: Inferred- this is one the top forage crops and continues to be planted. Although natural areas may not be difficult to access, it is unlikely that the seed source for these reinfestations would be controlled without accessibility issues.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Deam, C. C. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Division of Forestry, Dept. of Conservation, Indianapolis, Indiana. 1236 pp.

  • ESSA. 2004. Decision support tool for addressing invasive species in Garry Oak and associated ecosystems. ONLINE. http://www.essa.com/projects/descriptions/garryoak/top10.htm. Accessed 2004, February.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service [NRCS]. 2002. Environmental evaluation of plant materials releases. Unpublished evaluation forms. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Plant Materials Center, Beltsville, MD.

  • Stratton, S. D., and H. W. Ohm. 1989. Relationship between orchardgrass seed production in Indiana and Oregon. Crop Sci. 29:908-913.

  • Sullivan, J. 1992. Dactylis glomerata. In W.C. Fischer. Compiler. The Fire Effects Information System [Database]. Fire Effects Information System, Missoula, MT: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory. ONLINE. Available:http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ Accessed 2004, January.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2001. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.URL: http://www.ars-grin.gov/var/apache/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?6438. (Accessed 2004)

  • Voss, E.G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicotyledons. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1212 pp.

  • Weber, E. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 548 pp.

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