Blue lyme grass is an attractive blue-leaved grass, but it should be used with caution. This is a running grass with aggressive tendencies. It has been classified as invasive in Wisconsin, especially in areas that border Lake Michigan. Also known as Elymus arenarius.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Large plant (more than 24 inches)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9,
- Zone 10
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Wet sites,
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil,
- Road salt
Season of Interest:
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Form
Blue lyme grass potentially can grow to 3 feet tall, but the habit is often floppy, making it appear shorter.
Blue lyme grass prefers full sun or light shade and can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. It is salt tolerant
This is a cool season grass, so its most active growth occurs in spring and fall. In cold regions, it will be completely dormant instead of semi-evergreen in winter.
Blue lyme grass may be mowed down in fall or late winter.
Disease, pests, and problems
No serious pest problems.
This plant can be an aggressive grower as it is a running grass, spreading by rhizomes. It is considered invasive in Wisconsin.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Europe.
Leaves are about 1/2 inch wide and up to 18 inches long. They have a distinct blue to blue-gray color. The leaves may briefly change to yellow before going dormant.
Flowering occurs in mid-summer. Tiny flowers are produced in a blue-green spike.
The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) are held in a narrow spike that matures to beige. Not very showy.