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Glendale Public Library
Xeriscape Demonstration Garden Information Sheet


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Bouteloua gracilis-Blue Grama Grass

Although similar in appearance and uses to Sideoats Grama, Blue Grama is easily identified by its distinctive curved “comblike” seedheads, which appear during the summer. These seedheads contribute a light, airy feel to meadow gardens.

The leaves are light green, drying to a tan color in the winter. In the hot, low deserts, Blue Grama tends to be a small bunchgrass to 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide. In cooler, moist climates it can form a fairly dense sod. Does need some more moisture than B. curtipendula.  It is more tolerant of sandy soils and higher altitudes than Buffalo Grass.

Combine it with Purple Prairieclover (Petalostemum purpureum) and other perennial wildflowers and leave it unmowed for a casual feel.  It is one of the best grasses for the arid west and can easily be kept at 2" for a xeric lawn.


© Webmaster & Author George Hull Last Updated August 10, 2003