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BOUTELOUA curtipendula

Image of Bouteloua curtipendula

TL

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

BOUTELOUA curtipendula

Plant Common Name

Sideoats Grama Grass

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Sideoats grama grass is a versatile, clumping, warm season ornamental grass with pretty red flowers on decorative stems from summer to fall. This perennial is native to much of the New World, from Canada southward all the way to Argentina in South America. In spring the gray-green leaves remain compact, making a nice filler among the spring and summer blooming prairie wildflowers. By midsummer, this grass sends up slightly taller stems that have purple-turning-green oat-shaped flowerbuds that will reveal tiny red and yellow blossoms, all dangling off of one side. Flowering continues into the autumn, and results in seeds that feed birds. Many skipper butterflies use the grass as a place to lay eggs. In autumn, foliage turns shades of gold, tan and yellow, with hints of burgundy nearest the soil.

The dense tufts of sideouts grama grass need full sun and an average garden soil with dry to medium moisture. It does have rhizomes for roots, but also reseeds itself, thus being able to spread on disturbed land. Moreover, sideoats grama can also be used as a turfgrass if mowed appropriately. Otherwise, grow this species among prairie wildflowers in a meadow or along roadsides, or as a clumped specimen in the mixed border among favorite summer and fall flowering perennials and dwarf conifers. Cut back in early spring before new growth begins.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    24"-30" / 61.0cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Western United States, Southwestern United States, California, Texas, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Argentina, Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Red, Light Green

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Gold, Tan, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Yellow, Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Dried Flower/Everlasting, Lawns and Turf, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes