Elymus glaucus, Blue Wildrye

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Elymus glaucus

Tall, slender, vigorous perennial bunchgrass with blades growing to 2' tall, and flower stalks from 3-5 ft. tall. It is common in foothills and lower mountain slopes, and grows at the edges and in clearings within forests of oaks and conifers, preferring light shade. It is not best for very hot dry inland areas in full sun., Bromus carinatus would be a better choice for those situations. Along the coast, it takes full sun to part shade.

With its early vigorous growth, it is useful for forage early in the grazing season. With its plentiful production of nutritious seed for wildlife, it is often used in revegetation and/or restoration, and for holding recently denuded soil. Remember that it is the roots of the plant that hold the soil when it rains, not newly sown seeds or tiny young grass seedlings.

This species makes excellent pinole (roasted, ground seed food), and with salt, tastes like popcorn. The seed can be ground and cooked with water to make an excellent breakfast porridge or "mush". Its upright seed stalks are easy to spot even in a weedy grassland.

Seeding rate: 8 lbs/acre 85,000 live seeds per pound