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Audubon® Sideoats Grama
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Fringes are fabulous in bird habitat gardens! They provide food, shelter, and nesting materials, and they’re beautiful to look at, too. Sideoats Grama is an especially fine Fringe for your backyard bird sanctuary. This elegant but playful native plant makes a V-shaped clump of grassy foliage topped by arching stems hung with dangling seeds. Birds that forage at ground level—like juncos, sparrows, and towhees—may dine on the seeds. Sideoats Grama serves as a host plant to several moths and butterflies, and songbirds will feed on the caterpillars they find there as well. Don’t forget the Fringe!
May Benefit & Attract: Thrushes, waxwings, wood warblers, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, chickadees & titmice, orioles, cardinals & grosbeaks, crows & jays, sparrows, nuthatches, vireos, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and wrens.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
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Recommended by Our Growers
You have probably never heard of Sideoats Grama, but it’s actually a pretty big deal. This wide-ranging Fringe is native from Canada all the way to Argentina! In the U.S., it is present in all but six of the Lower 48 states (it is absent in North Carolina and five New England states). It’s especially plentiful on the Great Plains, where it controls erosion and provides wildlife habitat for prairie chickens, quail, and grouse. It also serves as fodder for horses, cattle, and sheep—though it once nourished huge, roaming herds of bison. Sideoats Grama is the official state grass of Texas.
Precious flowers! Sideoats Grama flowers in mid-summer. The tiny blooms are inconspicuous except for the fact that the stamens are bright orange-red. When viewed up close, you’ll find that they’re quite adorable! With the sun shining through them, they sparkle like jewels.
How to Grow
Sideoats Grama is a low-water, low-maintenance dream. Plant this easygoing Fringe in full sun, in soil that drains well. The soil type can be sandy or clayey or anything in between—it’s not fussy. Provide regular irrigation the first year; after that, plants should be very drought tolerant. Leave the dried, grassy tufts standing all winter for maximum bird benefit. Cut plants down in early spring. Sideoats Grama is a warm-season grass, which means it is slow to start growing in the spring. Be patient. It will shoot up quickly once the ground warms up.
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