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As usual, if there's a particular plant you'd like me to address, just drop me a line at shell@michellesgarden.com.


Side Oats Grammagrass
Bouteloua curtipendula

Side oats grammagrass takes its name from the arrangement of delicate individual flowers on one side of the flowering stem. It looks great in meadows and as a groundcover.

Type of Plant

Warm-season, clumping perennial grass.

Best Climate and Site

Zones 4-9. Prefers fertile, well-drained soil, but grows well in nearly all conditions. Full sun.

Height

Height to 2 feet (60 cm); similar spread. Flowering stems grow 6-15 inches (15-37 cm) tall.

Description

This durable plant forms clumps of fine, gray-green leaves. The flowers are purple or reddish in early summer and eventually dry to a tan color in winter.

Growing Guidelines

Set plants 2 feet (60 cm) apart in spring or fall. They will tolerate drought and can even take occasional mowing when established. Cut back the dead leaves in late fall. propagate either by seed or division in spring.

Landscape Uses

Side oats grammagrass is beautiful in meadow plantings and useful for erosion control on banks. It also makes an attractive groundcover.

Other Species

B. gracilis, blue grammagrass or mosquito grass, is an upright grower to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. Its odd flowers resemble mosquita larvae. It is sometimes mixed with buffalo grass in a mowed lawn in the Southeast. Blue grammagrass adapts well to dry soil. Zones 3-9.


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