Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Elymus glaucus
blue wild-rye

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Great Plains and Great Lakes region.

Habitat: Prairies, open woods, and dry to moist hillsides, from the lowlands to middle elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Tufted perennials, forming clumps up to 10 cm. wide, the hollow culms 5-10 dm. tall.


Sheaths open, glabrous to pubescent, the collar often purplish; auricles usually present and well-developed; ligules about 1 mm. long, with marginal hairs; blades flat, 5-10 mm. broad, glabrous or scabrous to hairy.


Inflorescence as single, terminal, stiff spike 5-15 cm. long; spikelets overlapping, usually 2 per node, borne flatwise on the rachis, 3- to 5-flowered, disarticulating above the glume; glumes narrowly lanceolate, mostly membranous, strongly 3- to 5-nerved, acuminate to short-awned; lemmas mostly glabrous, 10-12 mm. long, usually with a straight awn 1-2 cm. long; paleas nearly as long as the body of the lemmas.

Accepted Name:
Elymus glaucus Buckley
Publication: Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1862: 99. 1862.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Elymus glaucus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Elymus glaucus checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Elymus glaucus information.

E-Flora BC: Elymus glaucus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Elymus glaucus photos.

USDA Plants: Elymus glaucus information.

42 photographs:
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