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Plant of the Month: Elymus glaucus

Blue Dune

Elymus glaucus ’Blue Dune’ Grass

Latin name: Elymus glaucus ‘Blue Dune’

Common name: Blue dune grass 
Foliage: Silvery blue, semi-evergreen foliage
Mature size: 2 ft. tall x 4 ft. wide
Hardiness: Perennial to Zone 4
Soil: Well-drained
Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Water usage: Low
Sources: Local nurseries

We have a new favorite grass from the Dallas Arboretum Plant Trials — Elymus arenarius glaucus ‘Blue Dune’. This striking grass has silvery blue foliage that shimmers in full sun and withstands the worst of Texas weather.

‘Blue Dune’ spreads quickly to 3 feet across, so use this with caution in mixed perennial borders. It works wonderfully for filling in areas along hot concrete, such as beside driveways and in curb areas. The steel blue foliage is evergreen to around the lower 20s and will sprout back quickly with just a few days above freezing. Plants grow equally well in conditions ranging from full sun to a few hours of shade per day. ‘Blue Dune’ is also very tolerant of salt and drought. We’ve found that when it is kept on the dry side, it doesn’t spread as quickly and the foliage becomes even more silvery blue.

I love this plant mixed with Agave ovatifolia (Whale’s Tongue agave) and ‘Homestead Purple’ or ‘Blue Princess’ verbena. It also makes an incredible container plant for full sun. Look for ‘Blue Dune’ grass in 1-gallon containers at your local garden center.