Blue Grama

(Bouteloua gracilis) 

Blue Grama is a short growing, long-lived, warm-season, native perennial that grows throughout the Great Plains. The leaves are 3 to 6 inches long and less than 1/4 inch wide. The flowering stems are 12 to 24 inches tall. Each stem usually has two purplish spikes that extend at a sharp angle from the main stem. 

Blue grama is found on most soil types, including alkaline soils, but is most abundant on the heavier, upland soils. Its capacity to resist drought permits it to occupy the drier areas throughout its range of adaptation. 

Growth begins fairly late in the season and depends on how much moisture is available. The forage is relished by all classes of livestock. Growth ceases during long droughts but begins again upon the return of favorable moisture and temperature. Because of its wide distribution, high quality, hardiness, and growth habits, it is one of our most important range species. Under heavy grazing, blue grama often persists in nearly pure stands after the associated grasses disappear. Blue grama is readily established from seed.    

Blue Grama
Blue Grama

General Characteristics

Growth Type:Bunch
Life Span:Perennial
Growing Season:Warm Season
Native/Introduced:Native
Plant Height:12-24 inches
Cold Tolerance:Good
Drought Tolerance:Good
Salt Tolerance:Fair
Soil Type:Sandy Loam - Clay
Minimum Rainfall:12 inches
Planting Rate:1-3 pls
Planting Date:Dec. - June
Seed Type:Chaffy
Uses:Grazing, Wildlife Habitat, Erosion Control, Reclamation