Gardening News, Features



    Out of This World Color in ‘Blue Dune’ Lyme Grass



Blue in the garden is uncommon, and most plants which are labeled blue tend to be a light purple. But ‘Blue Dune’ is more gray than purple, a metallic silvery-blue which shines against other foliage. So alien is this particular color, it is like having a small spaceship land in your garden. When I first saw ‘Blue Dune’ Lyme Grass (Leymus arenarius), with its striking blue blades, I had to have it.

When I got home, I read that, although beautiful, it is an aggressive grower which multiplies through underground rhizomes. Native to Western Europe, it spreads quickly in sandy soil, and can be almost impossible to eradicate along beaches. There are photos online of tiny plants spreading throughout a large area in just a few years. Because of its tendency to spread, it is usually recommended for planting on hillsides for erosion control. 

I had nightmares of it taking over my garden and me trying to dig it up for years afterward. But after being in my garden for four years now, I am no longer concerned. The plant has spread wider and new shoots have emerged next to the original clump, but it has not been the terror I thought I may have introduced into my garden. 

Because of its unusual color, ‘Blue Dune’ makes an excellent focal point. Deer and rabbit resistant, it also makes a fun addition to flower arrangements. ‘Blue Dune’ tolerates both heat and cold, so it would make a nice planting in a large container. The one thing I do not care for is the tan plumes which shoot up in mid-summer. With the grass being such a noticeable color, I expected something more dramatic than khaki-colored plumes. Because of its out-of-this-world color, perhaps I was expecting little aliens to emerge instead.

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