This native grass has graceful, blue green foliage. Attractive tiny flowers in bright purple and orange appear on tall spikes in late summer. Its name, Sideoats Grama, comes from the way the oat-like seeds all lean to one side of the stem, despite emerging on two sides. Bouteloua makes a wonderful drought tolerant groundcover for a sunny dry location. It combines well with other sun-loving natives like Butterfly Weed, Echinacea and Black-eyed Susans. This grass grows well in many kinds of soil, including those containing clay-loam, gravel, rocky material, and sand. It is very drought tolerant and works well on gentle or moderate slopes.
The seed is relished by songbirds
Larval host for the Green and Dotted Skipper
Extremely drought tolerant
Tolerates poor, alkaline soils and light shade
Provides cover for wildlife
Sideoats grama is found on rocky open slopes, woodlands, and forest openings throughout most of North America. Distribution Map
Sideoats Grama Grass was bundled, dried and made into brooms by the Tewa Indians and used to sweep floors, hearths and metates.
Grow Sideoats Grama in full sun and dry to average soils that drain well. It will seed in and spread to open spots, but won't out compete stronger perennials and grasses. Seed stems can be removed to prevent spreading.