New Front Yard: This ‘lawn’ needs mowing only once a year

05/10/2014 12:00 AM

10/04/2014 12:45 AM

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum “New Front Yard” series, 41 drought-tolerant and beautiful plants well adapted to our region.

Blue grama grass

Bouteloua gracilis

Size: 1 to 3 feet.

Bloom season: Summer and fall.

Pruning needs: Mow once in late fall or winter.

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.

Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

Snapshot: Tired of the same old lawn? Blue grama grass is a California native gaining in popularity for its easy care and drought tolerance. The flower stalks start green and age to tan while staying tidy and upright – even when dormant. And this grass only needs mowing once a year. And instead of twice-a-week watering, it thrives with deep irrigation every other week. Particularly popular is the hybrid variety named “Blonde Ambition.” You can see specimens in the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus.

• For more on the New Front Yard, click on

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See photo galleries of the arboretum’s Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars at .

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