- North America
- Mixed border,
- Medium plant (12-24 inches),
- Small plant (6-12 inches)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9,
- Zone 10
- Alkaline soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Early winter,
- Mid winter,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall,
- Late fall
Size and Form
This species is a small grass growing 8 to 10 inches tall ( up to 15 inches when in flower). The habit is upright.
Blue grama tolerates heat and drought well.
In the Southwestern United States it is used a mowed turfgrass. It does not do well as a lawn in the Midwest due to the climate being too wet.
While it is considered a clumping grass, it does actually spread very slowly by rhizomes. It also spreads by seed.
This is a warm season grass, so its most active growth occurs in summer. It will remain standing in winter and can act as winter interest.
Since this grass remains attractive through winter, it should not be cut back until early spring, before new growth begins. At that time, it can be cut down to the ground.
Disease, pests, and problems
No serious problems.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to most of North America, including a few counties in Illinois.
The leaves are up to 10 inches long, but narrow and grown mostly from the base of the plant. In summer, the leaves are gray-green. In autumn, the leaves take on purplish tones. During winter, the leaves are tan or straw colored.
Flowering occurs in late summer (usually July to September). The tiny, purplish flowers are held in comb-like structures resembling mosquito larvae (the reason for one of the common names), held at right angles to the stalk. The flowers are wind pollinated.
The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) form within the comb-like structure that held the flowers. The comb-like structures start out silvery-white, then turn purple and then straw colored as they mature.