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Elymus glaucus

Elymus glaucus Buckley

Blue Wildrye, Blue Wild Rye

Poaceae (Grass Family)


USDA Symbol: elgl

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

Blue Wild Rye is a cool-season, tufted perennial bunchgrass. The loose to dense tufts are made up of 2-4 ft., leafy culms, each with a erect, to somewhat nodding, seedhead. Foliage is blue-green in color.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Leaf: Gray-Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: AK , AR , AZ , CA , CO , ID , IL , MI , MO , MT , ND , NM , NV , NY , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NT , ON , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Ont. & n. MI to s. AK, s. through the Black Hills & CO, to NM & CA; also s.w. MO & n.w. AR
Native Habitat: Open woods; moist meadows; drier hills.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist to dry, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: A desirable species for use in erosion control. The attractive, blue-green foliage adds value to commercial landscaping projects.


Description: Sow seed.
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Elymus glaucus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Elymus glaucus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Elymus glaucus


Record Modified: 2023-06-05
Research By: TWC Staff

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