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Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

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Technical sheet - Warm-season grass
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Bouteloua curtipendula

sideoats grama

This drought-tolerant, warm season grass is often over-looked as a specimen; however, the unique flowers serve as a striking focal point in a small garden and mixes well in meadow plantings, as its stature compliments others well in the spring. 

Bouteloua curtipendula LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
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18-24 Inches


18-24 Inches


10-12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

sideoats grama Interesting Notes

Bouteloua curtipendula is an innocuous-seeming grass. It features a distinctive inflorescence, an oat-like spikelet that originates in a faded purple hue and lightens to tan in the fall. The fall foliage color is golden brown fading to red-orange and purple shades. The plant grows to 2’ tall with flower spikes carrying it to 3’. What makes Bouteloua a must-have is it tolerates drought conditions, can be used for erosion control, and provides an airy backdrop as a massed plant in native meadow plantings.

This drought tolerant grass is native to open rocky woodlands and mixed grass prairies. Ranging through 42 of the 48 continental United States, it is most common in the prairie states of the Midwest. Tolerating a wide range of soil conditions from average to dry soils dominated by sand or clay, it simply requires full sun.

Sideoats grama is often overlooked as a specimen; however, the unique flowers serve as a striking focal point in a small garden and mix well in meadow plantings, as its stature compliments others in the spring. We recommend this rhizomatous plant for use when a site is damaged by drought or grazing. Despite its ability to rehabilitate landscapes, it spreads at a very slow rate. Maintenance is simple: cut back in late winter, or can be used in a landscape that undergoes controlled burns.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Salt Tolerance
Salt Tolerance
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Green Infrastructure
Lawn Alternative
Erosion Control
Green Roof
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Native to North America
Propagation Type
Open pollinated
Grass Type
Warm Season