Chapter 3. Common Native Grasses of the Northern Midwest

3.10 Eastern bottlebrush grass

Eastern bottlebrush grass in flower.
Eastern bottlebrush grass in flower.

Elymus hystrix

Cool season; Perennial  

Characteristics: 30–36”; upright narrow; foliage chartreuse; flowers green to beige; self-seeder

Growing Conditions: average to moist soils; full sun to heavy shade; hardy zones 3–7

This grass can be short-lived, but easily self-seeds. It is often found in wooded areas or at the edge of woods. The seedheads are unique and shaped like bottlebrush cleaners (hence the name), but shatter readily.

Currently, no nativars are available.

Species that feed on eastern bottlebrush grass according to the literature are the scythridid moth Asymmetrura graminivorella, golden borer moth (Papaipema cerina), the elachistid moths Elachista epimicta and Elachista orestella, the northern pearly eye (Enodia anthedon), and lanceolate helcystogramma moth (Helcystogramma hystricella).

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Gardening with Native Grasses in Cold Climates by Diane M. Narem and Mary Hockenberry Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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