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Mosquito Grass

Mosquito grass is a perennial that features an unusual bent, flattened bloom. Native to North America's open grasslands, it is tolerant of drought.

This pretty grass looks nice throughout the year. The fine textured foliage is greenish gray. The flowers are attached to the stems on right angles. They look like small combs. The blooms begin a rather silvery color and turn purple as they mature.

In frosty weather the entire plant turns purple and then fades to a pale wheat color. Its delicate appearance belies its toughness and durability. The blooms wriggle and float in the breeze, creating an interesting visual appeal.

This grass is also known as blue grama grass, graceful grama grass, eyelash grass and signal arm grass. This warm season perennial tolerates many conditions such as drought, salinity and mild alkalinity. This grass is the state grass of New Mexico.

Planting Ideas

Mosquito grass is perfect for a meadow or natural lawn. It can be planted in large groups or used as a specimen in a rock garden. It does well as a container plant. Put it in a bed or a border. Use it as a ground cover or naturalize it.

It withstands mowing well and can be used as a lawn substitute by itself or combined with buffalo grass for a durable, drought tolerant lawn. This is a terrific choice for areas with little water.

The interesting blooms can be added to cut and dried flower arrangements. Wild birds are attracted to the seed pods. Mosquito grass can be kept mown to two inches. It can also be added to mixed forage pastures. This grass is deer and drought tolerant.

Care and Planting

Plant this ornamental grass in a sunny location with sandy soil. It is fairly adaptable as long as its roots are not kept wet. This durable grass can withstand weather, mowing and traffic. Water regularly until it is established.

Propagation can be through seeds or division.

There are no serious problems with disease or insects. It will not grow in dense shade, acid soils or flooded regions. It has a shallow root system that makes quick work of absorbing the available moisture in the ground. This plant uses wind pollination to form seeds.

Grass Information

  • Scientific Name: Bouteloua gracilis

  • Best Soil: Well drained

  • Light Needs: Full sun

  • Growth Rate: Moderate

  • Foliage Color: Green-gray

  • Flower Color: Brown; purple-lavender

  • Bloom Time: Summer

  • Mature Size: Grows up to 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide in a clump

  • Watering: Dry to medium

  • Hardiness Zone: 5 - 9

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