Mosquito Grass - Blue Grama Seeds (Bouteloua Gracilis)
Price for Package of 10 seeds.
Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition) is a native ornamental grass with a completely new look. The horizontal eyelash-like chartreuse flowers appear in mid-summer and age to blonde seed heads by fall. They are held on the plant right through the winter to provide many months of interest.
Plant Select Winner 2011 30-36" tall x 30-36" wide. An exceptionally large growing selection of our native Blue Grama Grass, Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition has 2 1/2 to 3 ft. tall stems of flowers that mature to long lasting blonde seed heads. These flag-like flowers rise up out of the blue-green foliage in mid-summer and are held on stiff, weather resistant stems. 'Blonde Ambition' Blue Grama Grass provides exceptional winter interest as the stems of seed heads pop up even after a heavy snow and remain standing through winter, giving the grass 6 to 8 months of garden color and texture.
Seldom does a new grass selection offer the gardener something so completely different and exciting. Its profusion of big, showy chartreuse flowers, held horizontally above the leaves is unlike any other ornamental grass in cultivation. This beauty is extremely cold hardy, grows in a wide range of soil types and is a perfect choice for low maintenance home or commercial landscapes. 'Blonde Ambition' Grass is native to 26 states and performs well across the country, particularly in hardiness zones 4-9. Cut back old stems to 2-3” above ground-level in mid-spring. Divide every third year. Discovered and introduced by David Salman of High Country Gardens. (Propagated by division).
2011 High Country Gardens Plant of the Year. Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass was named by the Plant Select gardeners' survey as the best perennial of 2013.
Caring For Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass
Cutting back Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition) should be done in mid-spring when the new green grass blades begin to sprout from the crown. The stems holding the seed heads are very resilient and stay upright even after a snowy winter, so the grass looks good until mid-spring.
Cut back to a height of 2 to 3 inches above ground level and scratch out the crown with gloved hands to loosen thatch and make room for the new growth to push up and out.
Mulching: Blonde Ambition (and many ornamental grasses) don't need mulching. But if planted in a mulched bed, Blonde Ambition is very adaptable as to the type of mulch. We recommend that the mulch layer around the plant be thin (less than an inch deep).
Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) is a long-lived, warm-season (C4) perennial grass, native to North America.
It is most commonly found from Alberta, Canada, east to Manitoba and south across the Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, and U.S. Midwest states, onto the northern Mexican Plateau in Mexico.
Blue grama accounts for most of the net primary productivity in the shortgrass prairie of the central and southern Great Plains. It is a green or greyish, low-growing, drought-tolerant grass with limited maintenance.
Blue grama grows on a wide array of topographic positions, and in a range of well-drained soil types, from fine to coarse-textured.
Blue grama has green to greyish leaves less than 3 millimetres (0.1 in) wide and 1 to 10 inches (25 to 250 mm) long. The overall height of the plant is 6 to 12 in (15 to 30 cm) at maturity.
The flowering stems (culms) are 7 to 18 inches (18 to 46 cm) long. There are typically two comb-like spikes, each with 20 to 90 spikelets, that extend out at a sharp angle from the flowering stem.
Each spikelet is 5 to 6 mm (0.20 to 0.24 in) long. There is one fertile floret with a lemma (bract) 5 to 5.5 mm (0.20 to 0.22 in) long, with three short awns (bristles) at the tip, and one reduced sterile floret about 2 mm (0.08 in) long with three awns about 5 mm (0.2 in) long.
The roots generally grow 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 cm) outwards, and 3 to 6.5 feet (0.9 to 2.0 m) deep.
Blue grama is readily established from seed, but depends more on vegetative reproduction via tillers. Seed production is slow, and depends on soil moisture and temperature. Seeds dispersed by wind only reach a few meters (6 ft); farther distances are reached with insects, birds, and mammals as dispersal agents. Seedling establishment, survival, and growth are greatest when isolated from neighboring adult plants, which effectively exploit water in the seedling's root zone. Successful establishment requires a modest amount of soil moisture during the extension and development of adventitious roots.
Established plants are grazing-, cold-, and drought-tolerant, though prolonged drought leads to a reduction in root number and extent. They employ an opportunistic water-use strategy, rapidly using water when available, and becoming dormant during less-favorable conditions. In terms of successional status, blue grama is a late seral to climax species. Recovery following disturbance is slow and depends on the type and extent of the disturbance.
Horticulture and agriculture
Blue grama is valued as forage.
Bouteloua gracilis is grown by the horticulture industry, and used in perennial gardens; naturalistic and native plant landscaping; habitat restoration projects; and in residential, civic, and highway erosion control. Blue Grama flowers are also used in dried flower arrangements.
Blue grama is the state grass of Colorado and New Mexico. It is listed as an endangered species in Illinois.
Among the Zuni people, the grass bunches are tied together and the severed end used as a hairbrush, the other as a broom. Bunches are also used to strain goat's milk.
Small size makes blue grama grass an excellent selection for rock gardens where it can be used as a specimen or in small groups. Also an excellent choice for naturalized areas, native plant gardens, unmowed meadows, prairie areas or other informal areas in the landscape, especially where drought tolerant plants are needed. Can also be grown as a turf grass and regularly mowed to 2 inches high. Flower spikes are an excellent addition for dried flower arrangements.
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils, except poorly-drained, wet ones. Excellent drought tolerance. Freely self-seeds. Cut to the ground in late winter before new shoots appear.