Bouteloua gracilis (Kunth) Lag. ex Griffiths

Mosquito Grass, Blue Grama Grass

Winter form

Winter form

Family: Poaceae

Genus: Bouteloua

Category: Grass

Zones: 3 to 10

Size: up to 2' tall and wide

Growth Rate: Moderate

Exposure: Sun


Clumping, warm season grass. Called Mosquito Grass because the flower spikes resemble mosquito larvae. Blooms in summer wiht reddish tint at first. Will not tolerate poorly drained wet soil. Cut to the ground in late winter before new shoots appear.


Native range is southern and western US and Mexico. Published in Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 14: 375 in 1912. Basionym is Chondrosum gracile Kunth.

Another taxononmic nightmare. Tropicos says this is the accepted name. PlantList (Kew) says it should be Chondrosum gracile Kunth. I'll say it is unresolved!

My Experience: 

I purchased 3 1-gallon plants from Laymans in July 2010 and planted them near the golf course with the other grasses, along the edge of the path. Some browning on first planting but fared well after that. They never really look very ornamental. In summer 2012 I moved the three to the new Ornamental Grasses Border. It fizzled and in spring 2014 I dug it up and moved the tiny bits that were left to the One Of Everything garden.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner