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Eastern Bottlebrush Grass (Elymus hystrix L.)

Also classified as Hystrix patula.

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A perennial grass native to eastern North America, named for the distinct arrangement of its inflorescence, which resembles a bottle brush.

Range - Expand

Native or Not Present
Introduced or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.


Cultivated as an ornamental grass, where it is valued for the distinctive appearance of its inflorescence.

There are numerous Elymus (or wild rye) species in North America. Most are native, but the introduced Elymus repens has a wide distribution and is typically considered an invasive species.

Quite a few native species overlap with E. hystrix in range. Some of the more widely-distributed species include E. canadensis, E. submuticus, Elymus trachycaulus, and E. virginicus.

Sometimes occurs together with these grasses in the same habitats; hybridizes with E. virginicus, producing the hybrid E. ×ebingeri.

Elymus hystrix (Bottlebrush Grass) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Elymus hystrix (Eastern Bottlebrush Grass) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Elymus hystrix | Go Botany (About This Site)

Elymus hystrix (Bottlebrush Grass) | Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder (About This Site)

Elymus hystrix | CABI Invasive Species Compendium (About This Site)

Elymus hystrix | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)