A coastal species found in the same habitats, and similar to, maritime forms of E. repens, and not always easy to distinguish from them. The only Northern Ireland record of the species proper is a museum specimen from Ballywalter, Co Down dated 1914 (and not identified until 1989).
There are also old museum specimens of the hybrid with E. farctus from Co Antrim (collected in 1910) and with E. repens (collected in 1890), both only identified in 1989, showing that this species must be more widespread but appears to have been overlooked.
All names: Elytrigia atherica (Link) Kerguelen ex Carreras Mart.; Elymus athericus (Link) Kerguelen; Elymus pycnanthus (Godron) Meld.; Agropyron pycnanthum (Godron) Gren. & Godron; Agropyron pungens auct. non (Pers.) Roemer & Schultes; Elymus pungens auct., non (Pers.) Roem. & Schult.; Triticum pungens auct.