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Elymus hystrix produces pretty, airy, spiky, soft, bottlebrush seed heads in midsummer. These blooms create texture and interest in the shade garden. Deep green, narrow leaves reach about three feet; flowers rise a foot above. Adaptable to a variety of conditions, including clay, sandy soils and rich garden soil, Bottle-Brush Grass will grow where other grasses will not, including dry shade. Elymus hystrix is a native grass found in woods and open clearings from Nova Scotia and Quebec to North Dakota and south to Virginia and Oklahoma. This is the former Hystrix patula, now included in the genus Elymus because experts did not think it warranted its own genus. It is sometimes referred to as Bottlebrush Grass.
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