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Bottlebrush Grass
Elymus hystrix

Recognized by its unique spike arrangement, Bottlebrush Grass is a shade-tolerant grass that grows in spring and fall and prefers moist soil conditions. Lovely curved seed heads. Readily reseeds. Can grow in heavy clay soils.

USDA symbol: ELHY

General Information

Plant TypeGrass
Height4 feet
Light ExposureSun, Part Sun, Shade
Soil MoistureDry
Bloom ColorGreen
Bottlebrush Grass (Bottlebrush Grass<div><em class="small">Elymus hystrix</em></div>)
Photo credit: Minnesota Native Landscapes (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience5
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceAlkaline Conditions, Drought Tolerant

Pollinator Value: Medium

Bloom MonthsMay to June
Larval Host ofMoths
Specific Pollinators HostedPapaipema cerina

Project Planning

Project TypeShoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism5
Herbivore SensitivityHigh
Rate of SpreadMedium
Soil StabilizationShallow
Vegetative ReproductionAbsent


CountyAitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Mahnomen, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Roseau, Sherburne, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Winona, Wright, Yellow Medicine
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands