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Side oats grama


Family:  Poaceae, grass family
Genus, species:  Bouteloua curtipendula

Leaves are wide and flat with stiff hairs along margins, up to 12 inches long. Most leaves are clustered at the base of the plant, with a few attached to the stalk. As the grass matures, leaves become curled and whitish-brown.

Flowers are arranged in spikes, aligned along one side of the stalk, look like flags on a ship's mast. Spikes are a distinct orange-red color.

This grass grows in bunches, usually in association with big bluestem and little bluestem.

More Information:

The common name, side oats grama, refers to the alignment of its flowers on one side of the stalk.  "Grama" is from the Latin for "grass."  The genus, Bouteloua, is named after Claudio (1774-1842) and Esteban Bouteloua (1776-1813), two Spanish botanists.  The species name, curtipendula, is from the Latin for "short-hanging."