Once you see the seed heads it is pretty oblivious why the common name of this interesting grass is bottlebrush grass. The seeds on the seed heads are arranged like the bristles of a bottle brush. This clumping grass will add interest to the woodland garden starting in early summer when the seed heads are formed. The seeds are very light in color and difficult to photograph then. As the summer goes on and into the fall the seed heads turn tan. The seeds remain through the fall. This helps to keep the woodland garden interesting for a long period of time.
Bottlebrush grass will grow beautiful under deciduous trees. people looking for a plant to preform in dry shade should take a look at bottlebrush grass. The plant is very tolerant of dry soil common in the summer, but does grow in moister soils too. The plant will grow 2 to five feet tall and establishes quickly. In the wild you do you commonly see bottle brush grass plants in bright woodland settings along paths.
Bottlebrush grass like other grasses provides cover for birds, insects and small mammals. The plant is a host for the caterpillars of the Northern Pearly Eye butterfly and 2 Moths. This makes it a great choice for the pollinator garden.
Great companions included asters, yellow wood poppy, bloodroot, early meadow rue, false solomon's seal, baneberry, Canada water leaf. If you have a large area or a bank you need to cover a great combination would be flowering raspberry, Joe-pye and bottlebrush grass this would provide color interest and plenty of roots to hold the bank and prevent erosion.
Elymus hystrix - Bottlebrush grass
-A grass that grows in shade or part shade
-Birds will use for nesting material
-Provides cover for animals
-Larval host for butterflies
-Height: 3 to 5 feet
-Zone: 5 to 9