Sideoats Grama, Bouteloua curtipendula

Sideoats Grama

Bouteloua curtipendula

Benefits:
Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Medium, Dry
Color: Straw
Fragrance: No
Height: 2 - 3 feet
Spacing: 1 foot


Description

Sideoats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) is noted for the distinctive arrangement of oat-like seed spikes which hang from only one side of its flowering stems. Typically occurs in glades, prairies, open rocky woodlands and along railroad tracks. Narrow, bluish-gray leaf blades typically form a dense clump growing 1-1.5 feet 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 3 feettall. Inflorescences fade to tan as the seeds mature. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Side Oats Grama often forms tight bunches of culms from its rhizomes, although it also occurs as scattered plants. In moist areas where there is little competition, it may form a dense sod.

Habitats include various kinds of hill prairies, dry upland prairies (including gravel prairies & dolomite prairies), thinly wooded bluffs and barrens, limestone glades, and areas along railroads. This grass is often used in prairie restorations, from where it occasionally escapes into adjacent areas. As a result, Side Oats Grama is becoming more common in some areas of the state.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture soils in full sun. Tolerates wide range of soil conditions from well-drained sandy soils to heavy clays. May be grown from seed and may self-seed in the garden in optimum growing conditions.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Ornamental grass.
  May be grown as a turf grass and regularly mowed to 2-4 inches tall.
  Cut clumps to the ground in late winter.
Further Information

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