Bouteloua gracilis

Common Name:
Blue grama
Plant Type:
Poaceae (The Grass Family)
Geographic Origin:
Southwestern States
California Native?:
Plant Size:
10-15 inches high
Landscape/Garden Uses:
ground cover
Flowering Season:
Flower Color:
Straw Color
Sun or light shade
Well-drained soil
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to occasional watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 0 degrees F. or less
Blue grama is a dense, neat bunchgrass, growing a little over 1 foot high, with many nearly erect, slender stems. The leaves are quite narrow, up to 6 inches long, and bright green in color. Rising well above them in summer are branched flower clusters with radiating 2 inch spikes which resemble little caterpillars. Blue grama makes an attractive cover for open banks and naturalistic meadows and can even be overplanted and mowed into something like a lawn (though perhaps not one on which you would care to take a nap). Give it sun, reasonably well drained soil, and moderate--not heavy--watering.