Virtues: A drought-tolerant and cold-hardy ornamental grass with unique midsummer flowers. Seed heads remain interesting through the winter. Adds fine texture and movement to the garden. Recognized as a Plant Select winner in 2011.
Common name: ‘Blonde Ambition’ blue grama
Botanical name: Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’
Foliage: Fine, grassy, blue-gray leaves.
Flowers: Long, narrow yellow-green flowers appear at the top of three-foot stems in midsummer. The flowers sit perpendicular to the stems, looking like pennants. Pale seed heads follow and remain appealing through winter because of their very sturdy stems.
Habit: Rounded grass one to two feet tall and wide in foliage. Flowering stems reach to three feet tall.
Season: Summer, fall, winter.
Origin: A selection of blue grama, a grass native to roughly the western half of North America. Discovered and introduced by David Salman of High Country Gardens.
Cultivation: Grow in any well-drained soil and full sun. Very drought tolerant. Cut down to four to six inches tall in early spring. This is a warm-season grass; growth may be slow to resume but once temperatures heat up it will grow quickly. USDA Zones 4–9.
Image courtesy Plant Select
Ornamental grasses FAQ
More native grasses
Find many more drought-tolerant grasses in Ornamental Grasses for the Western Garden.
Create a natural-looking landscape of grasses and prairie flowers with The American Meadow Garden.
Learn all about designing with and caring for ornamental grasses with Nancy Ondra’s Grasses: Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design.