Well adapted to highly salinized habitats, Leymus arenarius is a coastal specialist grass.
Like Ammophila arenaria, Leymus arenarius grows on sandy beaches and in the sands of beach dunes.
With large rhizomes the grass spreads and helps control soil erosion. It is marginally taller than A. arenaria growing to 1.5m. Its leaves however are similar, in that they are grey-green and rolled to reduce loss of water.