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Montana Field Guides

Side-oats Grama - Bouteloua curtipendula

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4S5

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 5

External Links

General Description
Perennial bunchgrass with scaly rhizomes. Stems 4–7 dm long. Leaves: blades 2–6 mm wide, somewhat curled. Inflorescence of 20–50 secund lateral downward-oriented spikes, each 1–2 cm long and with 3–6 spikelets. Spikelets 4–5 mm long. Lemmas essentially hairless, awn-tipped, these falling with the lateral spike of spikelets; rudimentary florets 1 (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
Mexico north CA to MT and Canadian prairies to much of the eastern USA, although much less common east of the Mississippi River (Kartesz in prep. 2012).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 125

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Open dry rocky slopes and open understory often where Yucca glauca is common (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Hanson, H. C. 1955. Characteristics of the Stipa comata - Bouteloua gracilis - Bouteloua curtipendula association in northern Colorado. Ecology 36(2):269-280.
    • Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Side-oats Grama — Bouteloua curtipendula.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from