Sideoats Grama

(Bouteloua curtipendula) 

Sideoats Grama

Sideoats grama is a long-lived, warm-season, native grass with an exceptionally wide, natural distribution throughout the United States. It is most abundant in the Great Plains. It has short, scaly rhizomes. Usually, it makes a bunch-type growth and can form a dense sod.

The flowering stalks are 2 to 3 feet tall. The leaves are about 10 to 12 inches long and nearly 1/4 inch wide. The seed-head consists of a large number of oat-like seeds set on one side of the stem, which is about 6 to 12 inches long. The root system is fairly deep and well-branched; thus the plants can effectively utilize all available moisture. 

Sideoats grama produces an abundance of leafy forage, which is well-liked by all classes of livestock. Ordinarily, this species is seeded in mixtures with other adapted grasses. A seeding rate of 2 to 6 pounds an acre is generally recommended. The desirable rate depends upon the quality of seed and the other grasses, if any, used in the mixture. 

Sideoats grama is considered excellent for conservation use. It produces a good volume of leafy forage and is adapted to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. Seedling vigor is good, and failure to obtain a satisfactory stand seldom occurs if minimum care is used in seedbed preparation and planting. 

Seedings should be made on a well-prepared, firm seedbed free from weeds.

Sideoats Grama in Bloom
Sideoats Grama
Sideoats Grama
Sideoats Grama

General Characteristics

Growth Type:Bunch
Life Span:Perennial
Growing Season:Warm Season
Native/Introduced:Native
Plant Height:2-3 feet
Cold Tolerance:Good
Drought Tolerance:Good
Salt Tolerance:Fair
Soil Type:Sandy Loam - Clay
Minimum Rainfall:14 inches
Planting Rate:2-6 pls#
Planting Date:Dec. - June
Seed Type:Chaffy
Uses:Grazing, Wildlife Habitat, Erosion Control, Reclamation