Ammophila arenaria

Ammophila arenaria_ European beachgrass_ JM Di Tomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Arundo arenaria

Common names: European beachgrass

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.

Rating: High

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

Other Resources

Symposium Presentations

  • Clifford, P., A. J. Pickart, et al. (2005). Invasive annual grasses in a coastal dune ecosystem. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
  • Cooper, V. K. and B. J. Moritsch (1999). Weeding the wilderness: Non-native plant management at Point Reyes National Seashore. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '99. Sacramento, CA.
  • Hyland, T. and P. Holloran (2005). Controlling European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) using prescribed burns and herbicide. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
  • Jackson, N. E. (1996). Control of exotic weeds with Roundup herbicide: A survey of projects around the world. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium. San Diego, CA.
  • Peterson, B. (2004). The use of heavy machinery (excavators) to remove Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass) from native sand dunes at Point Reyes National Seashore. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Pickart, A. (2003). A decade of dune restoration at the Lanphere Dunes. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2003. Kings Beach, CA.
  • Pickart, A. J. (1997). Control of European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) on the west coast of the United States. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '97. Concord, CA.
  • Thomsen, C. D., W. A. Williams, et al. (1996). Yellow starthistle management with grazing, mowing, and competitive plantings. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '96. San Diego, CA.

Cal-IPC News Articles

  • (1993). California Exotic Pest Plant Council draft list exotic plants of greatest concern October 1993. CalEPPC News. 1: 6.
  • (1994). Exotic pest plants of greatest ecological concern in California September 1994. CalEPPC News. 2: 10.
  • (2004).Hard work, low pay, miserable conditions: The California Conservation Corps pulls weeds. Cal-IPC News. 12: 10-11.
  • Cole, K. and N. Molinari (2004). Teaching weeds: California university invasive plant programs. Cal-IPC News. 12: 11.
  • Hyland, T. and P. Holloran (2005). Controlling European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) using prescribed burns and herbicide. Cal-IPC Symposium, Chico, CA.
  • Peterson, B. (2004). The use of heavy machinery (excavators) to remove Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass) from native sand dunes at Point Reyes National Seashore, Cal-IPC.