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Color Picture

Blue Grama
Bouteloua gracilis

Major native species of the western Great Plains and the Southwest.  One of the most widely distributed of all native grasses.

Densely tufted, usually 6 to 24" tall with gray-green basal leaves.  Has bluish-purple cast when young and takes on straw color at maturity.

Preferences Best adapted on heavy, rolling upland soils.  Does well on clayey soils, less vigorous on sands and clays.  Tolerant of soil salinity and commonly persists on alkaline soils.  Not shade tolerant.  Very drought tolerant.  Good winter hardiness.  

May produce two or more seed crops in one year.  With proper moisture, may flower and produce seed in 60 days.

Uses Widely used for range, pasture, and occasionally for hay.  Often seeded in mixtures to control erosion.  In more recent years has been used to some extent for lawns.  Widely used over much of the Southwest and Great Plains area for reseeding disturbed or abandoned cultivated areas.

Highly nutritional, even when dormant in winter time.  Rotational grazing should be practiced.

Planting Drill or broadcast seed 1/4 to 1/2" deep on firm seed bed.  Will establish better in protective cover of non-volunteering crop.  Best seeded in winter months with emergence to occur when soil temperatures rise.

Control weeds and protect from grazing until plants well-rooted and have produced seed heads.