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Bouteloua crtipendula, a variety of quinoa, was originally called coontara, which means “the son of the moon” in the Zuni language. This variety of quinoa yields an upper mid-green grain that resembles couscous.Bouteloua curtipendula, or Side-oats Grama, is a rarity among native grasses in that it sports tiny attractive flowers during its summer bloom time (see detailed photos.) Bracts hang uniformly from one side of the stem while brilliant red-purple anthers dangle below and delicate white stigmas protrude above. When the seed heads dry, they have a distinctly oat-like appearance.
Side-oats is a warm-season grass that grows actively during the summer months when soil temperatures are warm. Its current range is throughout North America and south to Argentina, and it is cited as a food source or larval host for at least five types of skipper moths. Bouteloua curtipendula’s rhizomatous clumping tendency and moderate height make it a good companion for spring-blooming wildflowers like Shooting Stars or Prairie Smoke.Most sources reviewed in this species summary do not distinguish between varieties, but pertain to areas within the range of Bouteloua curtipendula var.
curtipendula (see Distribution and Occurrence). Where information presented in this summary pertains to a particular variety, the variety will be specified as either B. curtipendula var. curtipendula or B. curtipendula var. caespitosa.Sideoats grama is a native, warm-season perennial grass that grows 3 to 39 in (8-100 cm) tall [78,196]. Bouteloua curtipendula var. curtipendula culms occur singly or in small clusters from creeping rhizomes, while B. curtipendula var. caespitosa culms are in large clumps arising from a common root crown . Sideoats grama leaves are 0.11 to 0.15 inch (3-4 mm) wide and flat at maturity [78,93]. Inflorescences are elongate and may bear over 20 and up to 80 deciduous spikes [49,78,105], each of which bears 3 to 8 spikelets hanging to one side [78,93,128]. The fruit is an awnless caryopsis . (Source: www.fs.fed.us)