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Side Oats Grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

a.k.a. Sideoats Grama

Sideoats grama is one of the more important range grasses. This species is a must for any open, dry site with the goal to restore and rehabilitate. Sideoats grama is a 2-3' tall native, warm-season, bunchgrass that establishes quickly. It is a classic prairie grass that is excellent in the garden, especially if massed with shorter wildflowers and grasses. It does well at the borders or higher edges of rain gardens where inundation is less frequent. With impressive stature, leaves can reach two feet wide and large umbrella-like flower structure, this species has an imposing presence.

USDA symbol: BOCU

General Information

Plant TypeGrass
Height3 feet
Light ExposureSun
Soil MoistureDry, Medium
Bloom ColorGreen, Brown
Side Oats Grama (Side Oats Grama<div><em class="small">Bouteloua curtipendula</em></div>)
Photo credit: United States Department of Agriculture (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceLow
General Resilience7
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant

Pollinator Value: Medium

Bloom MonthsJuly to October
Larval Host ofButterflies
Specific Pollinators HostedHesperia dacotae

Project Planning

Project TypeBoulevard, Rain Garden, Shoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism6
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyAnoka, Becker, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington, Wilkin, Winona, Wright, Yellow Medicine
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands