gracilis (Willd. ex Kunth) Lag. ex Griffiths
grass with seed stalks 6 to 20 inches tall. It is a bunchgrass with
short rhizomes, often forming an open sod by tillering. Starts growth
in May or June, flowers in July to August, and reproduces primarily
from tillers. Cannot tolerate shading by taller plants.
spike up to 2 inches long that is curved and comb-shaped at maturity.
Spikelets are numerous, arranged in two rows on one side of the
rachis, each containing one perfect floret and two imperfect florets
reduced to bristles and scales; lemmas of perfect floret three-awned;
glumes hairy and awn-tipped.
Leaves: The blades are narrow, mostly basal,
sometime curled but generally flat, 1 to 6 inches long, usually
glabrous but sometimes hairy on the margin near the base, folded
to slightly rolled in the bud. Sheaths glabrous; collar with a few
hairs at the margins; ligule a fringe of very short hairs; auricles
grama is native to a wide variety of sites of Utah from elevation
of 3500 feet up to 8000 feet. It occurs on open plains, mesas, foothills,
and woodlands. Annual rainfall is 8 to 15 inches. It is found on
sites where summer precipitation comprises a large percentage of
the annual rainfall.
grama will grow in soils with a wide variety of characteristics
-- stony, cobbly, gravelly, sandy, or even fine soils with a high
content of lime. It is not found in wet, poorly drained soils.
sandberg bluegrass, galleta
grass, and rabbitbrush.
a warm-season grass, Blue grama provides good quality summer grazing
for all classes of domestic livestock and many wild animals. As
it matures it remains fairly palatable and nutritious. Blue grama
can withstand relatively heavy grazing and is very drought resistant.
However, in Utah, because of precipitation patterns, it is a low
Blue grama performs well as a bunchgrass where no more than 50 percent
of the annual growth is removed during the growing season or 60
percent removal during the dormant season. It provides forage for
year-long grazing, but rotational grazing is recommended to promote
good herbage yield. It has good watershed stabilizing features particularly
for reducing wind erosion and minimizing sheet erosion from water.