Sideoats Grama (Curtipendula) is generally described as
a perennial graminoid.
native to the U.S. (United States)
has its most active growth period in the
The greatest bloom is usually observed in the
with fruit and seed production starting in the
summer and continuing until
not retained year to year.
Sideoats Grama (Curtipendula) has a
moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a
moderate growth rate.
At maturity, the typical
Sideoats Grama (Curtipendula) will reach up to
3 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of
Sideoats Grama (Curtipendula) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by
It has a
slow ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have
Note that cold stratification is
not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below
medium tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.
Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.
Erosion Control: This grass is adapted to most soil conditions. Successful seedings are obtained in rocky, stony, or shallow soils. It is a fair to good erosion control plant when mixed with the other plants naturally associated with it.
Grazing: This is one of the most important range grasses. Although not as palatable as some of the smaller gramas, e.g. blue grama, it is more palatable than many of the other grass species. It produces a much greater volume of forage than blue grama, and this tends to make up for its slightly lower palatability. It remains green later in the fall and usually begins growth in the spring before other gramas. It cures well, and maintains a fairly high feeding value throughout the year.
Wildlife: Furnishes some forage for deer and antelope when green. Elk use this plant throughout the year.
Bouteloua curtipendula, sideoats grama, is a medium-size perennial bunchgrass, 15 to 30 inches tall or occasionally taller. This is the largest and most coarse of the grama grasses. It has a bluish-green color, sometimes with a purplish cast (especially in the spring), and cures to a reddish-brown or straw color. Leaves are coarser than other species of gramas, straight, comparatively stiff, and mostly basal. Ten to thirty small, non-comb-like spikes are borne mostly along one side of each central seed stalk. These spikes drop when mature, leaving a long zigzag stalk.
Required Growing Conditions
Sideoats grama is found on rocky open slopes, woodlands, and forest openings up to an elevation of about 7,000 feet.
Sideoats grama is distributed throughout most of the United States.
Cultivation and Care
Seeding of improved strains of this grass is accomplished by drilling in firm, weed-free seedbeds at the rate of 2-1/2 to 5 pounds (or more) pure live seed per acre. Protect from grazing from date of seeding through the second growing season. Seedings should be delayed until good soil moisture is present.
It is considered threatened in several states.
General Upkeep and Control
Sideoats grama is not as resistant to grazing as blue grama because of its taller growth habit, but sideoats grama stays green longer and can be grazed for a longer period. Reduced forage production, carrying capacity, and loss in cattle weight is a direct result of overgrazing. Sideoats grama is a normal component of a large number of range sites. The grass lengthens the grazing season and increases forage production, in addition to providing variety in the feed. Sideoats grama will return to most ranges under good management. Practices that will bring the grass back include proper grazing use, planned grazing systems, and brush control.
Pests and Potential Problems There are no serious pests of sideoats grama.
Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin) Released cultivars include‘Butte’ (NE), ‘El Reno’ (OK), ‘Haskell’ (TX), ‘Niner’ (NM), ‘Premier’ (Mexico), ‘Trailway’ (NE), and ‘Vaughn’ (NM); informal releases include Killdeer (ND) and Pierre (SD); and source identified releases include Northern Iowa Germplasm, Central Iowa Germplasm, Southern Iowa Germplasm (all from IA). Seeds are available at most western commercial seed sources.
Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA