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Elymus glaucus (Blue Wild Rye)

Blue Wild Rye, Blue Wildrye

Elymus glaucus, Blue Wild Rye, Blue Wildrye, Ornamental Grass, California Native Grass
Elymus glaucus, Blue Wild Rye, Blue Wildrye, Ornamental Grass, California Native Grass
Elymus glaucus, Blue Wild Rye, Blue Wildrye, Ornamental Grass, California Native Grass

Noted for its attractive blue color, Elymus glaucus (Blue Wild Rye) is an erect, cool-season perennial bunchgrass forming a loose tuft of a few long, smooth, waxy stems and upright or arching, linear, bristly, blue-green leaves, up to 12 in. long (30 cm). Tall flower spikes, up to 5 ft. (150 cm), rise above the foliage in early and midsummer. The inflorescence is a dense, erect, narrow spike, 2-6 in. long (5-15 cm), made up of a few spikelets, that nods gently and gracefully sways in the breeze. Both foliage and spikes slowly turn straw-colored in the fall. Blue Wild Rye has a vigorous, fibrous root system, sometimes with rhizomes, and the stems may form stolons. It is a desirable species for use in erosion control. It is suitable for stream bank restoration, meadow, and swale seeding. It is also excellent for reseeding burned or disturbed areas in oak woodland or forest. It is very tolerant of fire, burning quickly with little downward heat transfer. Great for prairies and meadows, it is also a popular accent grass for the garden. Blue Wild Rye is the most common and widely distributed of the wild western ryes. It occurs throughout western North America, from Alaska to Ontario southward to New Mexico, northern Arizona, California, and Mexico. Blue Wild Rye also provides excellent wildlife habitats for mammals, birds, and waterfowl.

  • Grows up to 1-5 ft. tall (30-150 cm) and 1 ft. wide (30 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. This plant is not fussy about soils and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, including serpentine soils or sodic soils. It prefers moderately moist soils but tolerates drought.
  • Excellent choice for prairies and meadows, butterfly gardens, or as a groundcover.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for rust. Deer resistant.
  • Cut back to ground level in late autumn.
  • Propagate by seed in situ in autumn or spring or propagate by division from mid-spring to early summer.
  • Native to North America from Alaska to New York to northern Mexico.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Poaceae
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 5'
(30cm - 150cm)
Spread 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, New York, Alaska, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, California, Midwest, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Arkansas, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah
Tolerance Drought, Deer
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Recommended Companion Plants

Erigeron glaucus (Seaside Daisy)
Baccharis pilularis (Coyote Bush)
Festuca idahoensis (Idaho Fescue)
Nassella pulchra (Purple Needle Grass)
Populus tremuloides (American Aspen)
Symphoricarpos albus (Common Snowberry)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Poaceae
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 5'
(30cm - 150cm)
Spread 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, New York, Alaska, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, California, Midwest, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Arkansas, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah
Tolerance Drought, Deer
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

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