Blue wildrye (Elymus glaucus)
Blue wildrye is an erect,
rapidly developing, cool-season, native perennial bunchgrass
with long smooth, waxy stems. This bluish tufted grass can grow to shoulder
from fibrous roots or short rhizomes (although in the
Blue wildrye is the most common
and widely distributed of the western wildryes (Elymus spp.).
It occurs throughout western
Blue wildrye occurs in cool temperate and cool mesothermal climates, decreasing in cover with increasing precipitation and elevation.4 It can be found from coastal to subalpine elevations up to 11,000 feet.,,
Blue wildrye occurs the length
Blue wildrye occurs as a minor seral component throughout a wide range of nonforested and forested communities.1 Blue wildrye occurs on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-rich soils. It reaches its greatest abundance in broad-leaved forests on water-receiving (floodplain and stream-edge) sites.9 is also drought tolerant7 and persists on sites characterized by low fertility and well-drained soils, with textures ranging from clayey loam to sandy loam.,
Blue wildrye is a common early seral species. While sometimes locally abundant, it rarely
forms dense, pure stands. Merrill and others report this species in early successional stands in the
Alder (Alnus spp.), maple (Acer spp.) sagebrush (Artemsia spp.) brome grass (Bromus spp.), bluegrasses (Poa spp.), meadow barley (Hordeum brachyantherum), cinquefoil (Potentilla spp.) strawberry (Fragaria spp.), yarrow (Achillea spp.) and asters (Aster spp.)
seed; may also be propagated by division.
Seed ripens in early July in the foothills and in late August at higher elevations.4 Hassell and others recommend only using seed from local sources, preferably from within 300 miles (500 km) and 1,500 feet (500 m) elevation of the intended site.12 Libby and Rodrigues discuss the potential for ‘genetic contamination’ of native populations of blue wildrye by commercially produced seed. They question the use of single collection over a very large area.
No pretreatment is required for adequate germination. Germination is rapid, usually within six to ten days.9 Data summarized by Fulbright and others indicate that seeds have a germinative capacity of 80 to 85%
Harvest seed by hand and clean by gently deawning with brush machine or air screen machine. Store clean seeds under low temperatures and low humidity.18
Sow directly in the fall to a depth of .6-1 cm at a density of 100-160 seeds per square meter and cover with sawdust mulch. Spring sow from March through early May. A nitrogen starter fertilizer is recommended, and a complete fertilizer when seedlings are well established.
The seedbed should be moist, fine textured, very firm and weed free.9 Blue wildrye is more successful in unmulched plots than in mulched plots. Plants are moderately sensitive to saline soils and are not tolerant of shallow soils.12
Commonly grows in tufts of 4inches or less.2 Plant in 1 foot centers for dense cover.
Like other bunchgrasses, water seedlings with at least 2 liters of water on the day of planting and/or water as needed during the first six months after out planting.
Rate of growth
Relatively rapid seedling growth and establishment, however, stands begin to decline dramatically 3-4 years12,
Data compiled by
 FEIS website: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/graminoid/elygla/introductory.html
 Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon 1994. Plants of the
C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur; Ownbey,
Marion. 1969. Vascular plants of the
 Klinka, K., V.J.Krajina, A.Ceska and A. M. Scagel 1989.
Indicator Plants of Coastal
William L. 1989. Classification of the riparian vegetation of the montane and subalpine zones in
Arthur W.; Chase, Agnes; Hedrick, Donald W. 1951.
 Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the
Robin, Caryn E.C. Chachulski
and Diane L. Haase 1998. Propagation of
 Chappell, C. 2000. Plant community descriptions of the Puget-Georgia-Willamette Ecoregion, unpublished.
Jay R. 1967. Conversion of chaparral areas to grassland: techniques used in
 Hassell, Wendell G.; Carlson, Jack; Doughty, Jim. 1983.
Grasses for revegetation of mountain sites. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Shaw,
Evelyn H.; Callahan-Olson, Angela; Raedeke, Kenneth
J.; [and others]. 1995. Elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti) dietary
composition and quality in the
J. 1992. The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses: How to Grow and Use over 250
Beautiful and Versatile Plants.
 Libby, William J.; Rodrigues, Kimberly A. 1992. Revegetating the 1991 Oakland-Berkeley Hills burn. Fremontia. 20(1): 12-18. (FEIS website)
Timothy E.; Redente, Edward F.; Hargis, Norman E.
E. (ed.) 1993. Native Plant Propagation Techniques for National Parks: Interim
 McAlister, Dean F. 1943. The effect of maturity on the viability and longevity of the seeds of western range and pasture grasses. Journal of the American Society of Agronomy. 35(5): 442-453. (FEIS website)
 Archibald,C., and S. Feigner 1995.
 Pitschel, Barbara M. 1988. Value of propagule
bank revealed by grassland restoration project (
 Frischknecht, Neil C.; Plummer, A. Perry. 1955. A comparison of seeded grasses under grazing and protection on a mountain brush burn. Journal of Range Management. 8: 170-175. (FEIS website)