Plant of the Month – August


Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass
Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’

  • Plant Form: Perennial grass
  • Water Use: Very low
  • Mature Size: 2-3 ft. tall and wide
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring (Mar – May), Summer (June – Aug)
  • Native to: Southern California, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to -30°F

There are so many desirable aspects of this interesting bunchgrass that Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass is bound to find at least one way into every gardener’s heart. It is long lived, deep rooted, drought tolerant, very low water-use, extremely cold tolerant, heat tolerant, deer resistant, can tolerate foot traffic and mowing, provides winter interest with distinctive seed heads, attracts songbirds, is comfy in containers, and even makes interesting dried flower arrangements. Can you resist it?

Blue Grama Grass is a long-lived bunchgrass with distinctive seed heads that look like curved combs or blonde sets of eyelashes. Its unique seed heads hover horizontally above green foliage from summer into fall, starting out chartreuse, then turning brown, and finally blonde (hinting at this selection’s name). In winter, its leaves also dry to a tan color, so this warm-season bunchgrass looks best when cut back in early spring to 2-3 inches above the ground to remove last winter’s dry leaves and flower spikes. Don’t prune too soon, though–the dried, tan seed heads are interesting all winter, and wintering songbirds love the seeds. This drought-tolerant, extremely cold-hardy grass fits into any garden style, including rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens, meadow gardens and naturalized areas. Lovely as a specimen plant, or along sunny paths, in borders and beds, in containers, or massed as a groundcover. Tolerates foot traffic and mowing, so it makes a great choice for drought-tolerant lawns. Its interesting flowers work wonders in dried arrangements.

Check out our “Garden Tasks” for August