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Bouteloua hirsuta (Hairy grama)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Bouteloua hirsuta

Bouteloua hirsuta Lag.

Hairy Grama

Poaceae (Grass Family)


USDA Symbol: BOHI2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The dense clumps of this perennial are made up of 6-30 in., erect, leafy based stems. Oat-like seeds are borne in a curved seedhead with a pointed tip.

Never found naturally in pure stands.


From the Image Gallery

20 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: The florets (flowers) of grasses are usually minute and thus inconspicuous.


USA: AR , AZ , CO , FL , GA , IA , IL , KS , LA , MD , MN , MO , MS , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , SC , SD , TX , UT , WI , WY
Native Distribution: N.e. IL to ND, e. WY & extreme s. NV, s. to LA, TX & AZ
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannas, Open woodlands, Roadsides, Fence rows

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Shallow, sandy or rocky soils. Caliche type, Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.
Conditions Comments: Never found naturally in pure stands.


Use Ornamental: Attractive
Use Wildlife: Graze, Nesting material, Seeds-granivorous birds, Seeds-Small mammals.
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Orange giant skipper, Green Skipper.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Green Skipper
(Hesperia viridis)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Sow seeds.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Plants to stop erosion in Arizona
January 17, 2009
I'm looking for a plant to stop erosion; I have big wash outs that are starting to erode my yard so I guess I'm looking for deep rooting plants. I live south of Tucson, Arizona. If you can advise me...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for shade in Dallas
November 30, 2008
What native grasses can be grown under large Live Oaks in the Dallas Area? The combination of shade and black gumbo soil seem to keep all plant life, except for poison ivy and ferns, out. I would lo...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for steep hillside erosion control
June 03, 2008
Hello, I am looking for advice on native plants to control erosion on a steep hillside in the western cross timbers. This is a shady area under post oaks and cedar elms, in shallow sandy soil mixed w...
view the full question and answer

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0686 Collected Dec 1, 1993 in Bexar County by Mike Fox
NPSOT 0291 Collected Aug. 31, 1992 in Kendall County by Kristina Coates

2 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Bouteloua hirsuta in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Bouteloua hirsuta in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Bouteloua hirsuta


Record Modified: 2022-12-16
Research By: NPC

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