Bouteloua gracilis

Latin Name: Bouteloua gracilis
Common Name: Blue Grama Grass
Mature Height (ft): 12"
Mature Width: 3-8'

Mature Shape

Mulch: Inorganic

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Blue grama grass is a short, clumping warm season grass with thin blue green blades that is native throughout the Great Plains and Southwest. Able to grow in poor, dry soils, blue grama grass needs only about 12 inches of annual precipitation to survive. If seeded thick enough and with moderate irrigation, blue grama will form turf. Once establish, reduce to monthly supplemental irrigation, and mow not more frequently than monthly to a height of 4 inches. One advantage of blue grama over buffalograss is the speed of germination; it will germinate in 5-7 days. Seedheads of blue grama resemble eyelid hairs, growing nearly horizontal off the stem.

Use in Garden

Blue grama is an important native grass for native, xeric, cactus and habitat gardens. Because of its low height, it is useful in rock gardens and xeristrips. Shortgrass prairie reconstructions, prairie mixes in place of turf, or mixed with buffalograss for native turf areas. Blue grama can be used in dramatic displays in creating swaths or ribbons of grasses of varying heights, arranged uniformly in a stair-step fashion.


Trim back in late winter. If used for turfgrass, mow no more than monthly to a height of 4 inches, or just once or twice a year.