Blue grama – Bouteloua gracilis
Colorado’s state grass! A drought-tolerant, clumping, turf-forming, *warm season grass. It will expand slowly from scaly underground rhizomes. One of the smaller grasses, only 12-14 in. in full flower, it has wiry bluish-green foliage with horizontal green and purple tinged spikes, held horizontal to the ground. Blue grama features unique straight or slightly curved greenish or purple tinged flower spikes spikes, densely packed with spikelets in two rows in a comb-like configuration, which give this plant one of its common names “eyelash grass.” Seed spikes persist into the winter. Needs full sun, tolerates clay loams, sandy loams, shallow rocky or poor gravelly soils, salinity, alkaline pH and high elevations. Can be used like a turfgrass, tolerating moderate foot traffic. Attractive to butterflies, larval host to several species of skippers, seeds eaten by birds, highly nutritious and favored by grazers.
*Note: Warm season, or C4, grasses begin to be active in late spring to early summer, flower and set seed in summer to early fall.
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