14 October 2007

Wildrye

Got a chance to visit a farm in the Capay Valley on Saturday. It was beautiful to drive through the golden hills and olive groves. There were many grasses at the farm--and people who could identify them. Of course, I remembered only a few of the names of the native grasses pointed out to me. I did managed to write down the name of Elymus glaucus or Blue Wildrye on a napkin

Blue Wildrye is a native and perennial bunchgrass that serves as a great shelter for birds and mammals. It can be eaten by animals as well. It grows throughout the western United States.

Native Americans used this grass in basket making. Also, it can be used as a cereal grain. One of the more hardy native grasses, it can survive fires and flooding and can easily grow to cover large areas. This grass can grow up to five feet tall, with flat leaves that can turn a shade of blue-green. It tends to grow in meadows, fields, and along roads.

From as far as I can tell, most traditional landscape architects don't value blue wildrye as an ornamental grass, but it is becoming more important in western gardens, especially in its native California. It seems to be used more often in erosion control projects or to replant sites like logging roads and clear-cut forests.

(photo from Flickr, from Dale Hameister's photostream)

2 comments:

L. said...

Hi Henry. Thanks for the great blog so far. I was wondering if you might be able to add a link to our grass website Pepindale.ca. If it's not possible, thanks anyway. Hope to see more posts from you in the future!

Lewis

L. said...

Hi Henry. Thanks for the great blog so far. I was wondering if you might be able to add a link to our grass website Pepindale.ca. If it's not possible, thanks anyway. Hope to see more posts from you in the future!

Lewis