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Sideoats Grama is a native, warm-season, bunch forming or sod forming perennial grass. Distributed over much of the Midwest and Great Plains, it is an important grass of the prairie and plains states. It grows on well-drained uplands, ridges and rocky areas, but also may be found on soils ranging from deep to shallow. Sideoats Grama does not do well on soils that are too wet or too sandy.Side-oats grama is a bunchy or sod-forming grass with 2-3 ft. stems in erect, wiry clumps. Purplish, oat-like spikelets uniformly line one side of the stem, bleaching to a tan color in the fall. The basal foliage often turns shades of purple and red in fall. This is a perennial warm season grass; clump forming. Two varieties are recognized: variety curtipendula is shorter and more rhizomatous and ranges from southern Canada to Argentina. Variety caespitosa spreads more by seed than by rhizomes, is more of a bunchgrass, and is restricted mostly to southwestern North America.
Sideoats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) is a charming warm-season grass with small oat-like seeds that dangle along one side of the stalk. Small bright purple and orange flowers are especially attractive when the grass blooms. Combine it effectively with other low-growing grasses and flowers in a meadow landscape in well-drained sand to loam soils. Sideoats Grama is a larval host plant for several Skipper butterflies and moths.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.Sideoats Grama is a native, warm-season, bunch forming or sod forming perennial grass.
Sideoats Grama does not do well on soils that are too wet or too sandy. It grows in association with Bluestems, and develops a thick, dense vegetation. Haskell is adapted to most of Texas. It reproduces by rhizomes as well as seed, is drought tolerant, shows good vigor, and is resistant to seed shattering. Field planting data showed Haskell to be the best and most consistent forage producing variety of Side-Oats Grama for central and southern Texas. Haskell is limited only by moisture, requiring at least 18” annually.Two other grama grasses (genus Bouteloua) occur in Missouri: hairy grama (B. gracilis) and blue grama (B. hirsuta). Both are much less common, with restricted distributions, plus they are shorter plants and have rather short, dense seed heads that resemble eyebrows or curved combs. (Source: mdc.mo.gov)