Blue Lyme Grass, Sand Rye Grass 'Blue Dune'

Leymus arenarius

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Leymus (LEE-mus) (Info)
Species: arenarius (ar-en-AR-ee-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Blue Dune
Synonym:Elymus arenarius


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage


Provides winter interest

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Augusta, Georgia

Clawson, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Ludington, Michigan

Malvern, Pennsylvania

Sumter, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

La Vernia, Texas

Newport News, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 4, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I've worked around it some in a few accounts. It is easy to grow in any sunny place with well-drained soil. If all by itself in a confined area as in parkways, parking lot islands, or big containers, it looks great. I remember one account in a backyard near a pool, though, where a patch of it looked horrible with diverse blades here and there. It spreads fast by underground roots, so the only other plants I would have around would be trees with high branches; no shrubs, bushes, perennials, or annuals. While it looks good with boulders, rocks, and sand, like many ornamental grasses, it should not be planted in dunes or on hills or banks out in nature because it becomes an invasive plant, that originally comes from Europe and western Asia. This cultivar is bluer in color than 'Glauca' and s... read more


On May 24, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Beautiful blue foliage, but its deep fast-spreading rhizomes are difficult to restrain in a mixed border. This is one of the species that give ornamental grasses an evil reputation for aggression in the garden.

Leaf edges are sharp and can give nasty cuts.

This is a coastal sand dune stabilizer native to Europe. Where it's been used to stabilize dunes in North America, as in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and on the Lake Michigan shore of Wisconsin, it's proven to be invasive, outcompeting native vegetation. []

Also called European dune grass, blue wild rye, lyme grass, and sea lyme grass.


On May 24, 2015, Meig from Far Northwest 'burbs, IL (Zone 4b) wrote:

The little ground squirrels love to eat this! Just planted it and hope it survives the little rats :/. Giving a neutral for now, will update if it makes it :)


On May 20, 2015, RobertWM from Clawson, MI wrote:

Many years ago I planted a plug of this grass in an above ground planter box on the patio, thinking it would be a temporary addition to the patio decor. Even above ground it has survived every Michigan winter including our last two, the worst Michigan winters on record. It's a tough durable survivor and looks beautiful with a rust colored Coleus, something like Sedona or Trusty Rusty. I've seen this planted in ground where it slowly grew to a clump three feet across but confined to a planter, it stays manageable. A beautiful, trouble free plant.


On May 12, 2010, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a beautiful ornamental grass that keeps it's dramatic color here in central SC throughout most of winter. The color reminds me of the silvery blue color of Bismarck palms. I planted mine with setcreasea purpurea and orange coreopsis for a beautiful, dramatic effect. Protect from ground voles.