Blue Grama, Bouteloua gracilis

Blue Grama

Bouteloua gracilis

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Summer
Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Soil Conditions: Loam
Soil Moisture: Dry
Color: Purple
Fragrance: No
Height: 1-3 feet
Spacing: 6-12 inches

Blue Grama, Bouteloua gracilis, also called Mosquito Grass, is a tufted, warm season, native grass noted for its distinctive arrangement of mosquito larvae-like seed spike. It is native to prairies, plains, open rocky woodlands and along railroad tracks.

Narrow, bluish-gray leaf blades typically form a dense clump growing 12-15 inches tall. Foliage turns golden brown in autumn, sometimes also developing interesting hues of orange and red. Inflorescences of purplish-tinged flowers appear on arching stems above the foliage in early to mid-summer, typically bringing the total height of the clump to 20 inches tall.

The root system is fibrous and abundantly branched, extending into the ground up to 6 ft. deep. The foliage of this grass dies down during the winter.

Habitats include sandy hill prairies, loess hill prairies, gravel hill prairies, sand prairies, gravelly areas along railroads, and mined land. This grass occurs in both high quality natural areas and disturbed areas where exposed barren ground is dry and sunny.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils, except poorly-drained, wet ones. Excellent drought tolerance. Freely self-seeds.

 Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Cut to the ground in late winter before new shoots appear.
  Can also be grown as a turf grass and regularly mowed to 2 inches high.
  Flower spikes are an excellent addition for dried flower arrangements.
 Further Information

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 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
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 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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