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Products > Leymus condensatus 'Canyon Prince'
Leymus condensatus 'Canyon Prince' - Canyon Prince Wild Rye
Image of Leymus condensatus 'Canyon Prince'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: Channel Islands (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Wheat
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Elymus condensatus 'Canyon Prince']
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: Running
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
Leymus condensatus 'Canyon Prince' (Canyon Prince Wild Rye) - This medium-sized powdery gray-blue rhizomatous evergreen grass (new foliage emerges green) grows 2-3 feet tall in a drier location, larger, up to 5 feet tall, if given regular watering. The erect flower stalks rise 1-2 feet above the foliage in late summer and are topped with tightly congested clusters of spikes of wheat-colored flowers. Plant in full sun to light shade but color is best in the sun. It is drought resistant but looks better with occasional irrigation along the coast and needs it in inland and desert gardens. This grass has proven hardy to below 10 degrees F and can be used in gardens down to USDA Zone 7. It spreads by short rhizomes and with time can colonize large areas, if so desired and not contained, but its growth can be restricted by selective removal of rhizomes along the edge of the planting or by using a physical barrier (paving or plastic root barrier). Avoid over irrigating as it can lose its typically upright form and lie flat as though sat on. We like to cut this plant back once a year to tidy up the planting and typically do this sometime between when the new grow starts to emerge, often as early as late winter, through early summer. Don't be surprised that the newly emerging shoots are bright green; they will rapidly turn blue-gray again as they mature. Great as an accent plant, in a container, or towards the back of the perennial border, within a meadow planting or at the base of a slope. This grass is a selection made by Santa Barbara Botanic Garden horticulturist Dara Emery from plants collected in 1968 by Ralph Philbrick, then director of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, on Prince Island, a small rocky islet at the entrance to Cuyler Harbor on the north side of San Miguel Island in the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. There is speculation in Rick Darke's Encyclopedia of Grasses that this plant might be a natural hybrid between Leymus mollis and Leymus condensatus because this plant exhibits traits intermediary between these species, though Leymus mollis is not known to be naturally growing on San Miguel Island. We also grow a taller form of Leymus condensatus that we call 'Gaviota Gray'. More information on this plant can be found on the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden's Plant Introduction Page. We first grew this plant as a variety of Elymus until the anogram name Leymus was constructed for related grasses then designated distinct from the true Elymus. More recently botanists have returned Leymus to Elymus but to avoid confusion for ourselves and customers, we continue to list this plant for now as a Leymus. 

This information about Leymus condensatus 'Canyon Prince' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.