Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Blue Lyme Grass, Sand Rye Grass
Leymus arenarius 'Glaucus'

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

Synonym:Elymus arenarius

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

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


Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

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

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By hczone6
Thumbnail #1 of Leymus arenarius by hczone6

By kvmohan
Thumbnail #2 of Leymus arenarius by kvmohan


1 positive
4 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Mar 18, 2014, 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.

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. 'Glaucus' isn't a cultivar name, but a catch-all term used in commerce for many blue forms.

Negative cleibel On Sep 10, 2010, cleibel from regina
Canada wrote:

This also grows very well in Zone 2b - yes, Regina, SK. Overwinters very well. Seed heads are NOT sterile. I found a new plant over 50 feet away. It can be invasive. You definitely need to contain it. Round up (glyphosphate) does kill it. Highly Highly recommend that you keep it in a container such that it can not escape. Will sprout outwards 2 feet away from original clump. Very vigorous growth. Small diameter clump of 4 inches will grow to 2 feet diameter by end of season.

Neutral kvmohan On Apr 13, 2009, kvmohan from Skillman, NJ wrote:

Highly invasive, develops extensive root system in short period, difficult to control in a regular garden. Leaves and seed heads are a nuisance. Can be grown in containers, drought resistant.

Neutral grik On Jun 9, 2008, grik from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

For some reason I stuck some of this in my boulevard perennial garden. It is in light shade but is slowly taking over. It roots in really deeply and you cant easily pull it out. It looks OK but really there are much more interesting things to plant. Save this for some special needs area. I'm going to pull out the Round Up.

Neutral JefeQuicktech On Jul 25, 2005, JefeQuicktech from Moorhead, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Extremely invasive in full sun. If you want to cover huge sunny areas in a small amount of time, this is your plant. It will spread in all directions. Lawn grasses still tend to grow in among it easily giving it a messy appearance if not weeded very well when established. Weeding later is a real pain; literally painful due to the sharp leaves.

It is such a pretty hue of blue that we are not ready to give up on it. We will need to try it in shade.

Positive lupinelover On Sep 1, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant's well-known tendency to invasiveness is easy to control using heavy soil and full shade. The blue foliage remains blue all year when grown in shade. Beautiful upright accent in a shady woodland garden.


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

Fallbrook, California
Greenville, Indiana
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Moorhead, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Skillman, New Jersey
West Point, Virginia

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