Plant Spotting: Sideoats Grama

Plant Spotting: Sideoats Grama

by Max Licher, http://www.swbiodiversity.org/seinet

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S):

Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.

COMMON NAME(S):

  • Navajita banderilla

  • Sideoats grama

FAMILY:

Poaceae

GROWTH:

Warm season grass

ECOLOGY:

http://www.swbiodiversity.org/seinet

Sideoats grama is the state grass of Texas. It is monocot perennial grass native to nearly all of North and South America, and is a threatened species in Michigan. It grows in average soils of dry to medium moisture, and in full sun, although it is very adaptable and can be found in a variety of ecosystems. Sideoats grama grows in dense clumps, which can grow up to 1.5 feet tall. The leaf blades are narrow and bluish-gray, with oat-like seed spikes hanging from one side (hence the name). Purple flowers appear on inflorescences (tall flower stems) in early to mid-summer; the stems can grow up to three feet. It is a plentiful forage plant for livestock and wildlife, and is grown for erosion control and as an ornamental. It also provides larval food for the veined ctenucha moth (Ctenucha venosa).