Sideoats Grama grass is a warm-season grass that is commonly used for foraging, ornamental planting, as well as soil erosion control. It is a deep-rooted, perennial, short prairie grass that can grow from 30 to 100 centimeters (12 to 40 inches) tall, and can usually be found on mountainous plateaus, rocky slopes, and sandy plains. Sideoats Grama is also tolerant of drought and cold.
This grass type is considered to be one of the best ones for foraging. It produces high quality, nutritious forage that all types of livestock are fond of. Although usually at its best throughout the summer and fall, this grass type stays palatable in the winter. This tri-seasonal longevity makes it one of the most important range grass species.
Sideoats Grama grass is also often used for ornamental planting thanks to its blue-green foliage and purple flowers. This can be mixed with other native grass seeds such as Blue Grama or Buffalograss.
Since it’s a deep rooted grass type, Sideoats Grama is often used for soil conservation. In fact, it played a significant part in the recovery of grasslands following the drought of the 1930s. It is also recommended for range and pasture seeding, earth fill, and bank stabilization.
Grass Family (Poaceae : Chlorideae)
Latin Name : Bouteloua curtipendula
Longevity : Perennial
Season : Warm
Origin : Native
Value : Wildlife – good
Livestock – good
Sideoats Grama was designated as the official state grass of Texas in 1971. The common name of this type of grass refers to the arrangement of the seeds hanging off one side of the seed stalk. The leaf blades have distinguishable glandular-based hairs along the margins. This grass starts growth in early spring, flowers July to September, and reproduces by seeds and tillers. One variety has rhizomes. It has good forage value for all classes of livestock and wildlife throughout the spring, summer and fall, as well as fair to good forage value during the winter months. It is also well adapted to calcareous and moderately alkaline soils, and rocky shallow sites of prairies.