Ammophila arenaria

Ammophila arenaria_ European beachgrass_ JM Di Tomaso
Photo: 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. It is native to the coastlines of Europe and North Africa.

Cal-IPC Rating: High?

CDFA Rating: None?


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.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Ammophila arenaria Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Ammophila arenaria_growth habit_copyright_2009_NealKramer
    Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass) growth habit. Photo: &#169 2009 Neal Kramer
    Ammophila arenaria_infestation_copyright_2009_NealKramer
    Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass) infestation. Photo: &#169 2009 Neal Kramer
    Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass) inflorescences. Photo: &#169 2009 Neal Kramer