Plant Spotting: Sideoats Grama
Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.
Warm season grass
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).