Durable delights: Eyelash grass turns heads in dry garden

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum Durable Delights, 30 can’t-fail, easy-care plants well adapted to our region.

Blonde Ambition showy blue grama grass

Bouteloua gracilis‘Blonde Ambition’

Size: Under 2 feet tall

Bloom season: Summer, fall

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Pruning needs: Cut to ground once a year to renew.

Water needs: Once established, water deeply twice a month.

Snapshot: Also called “eyelash grass,” blue grama grass is a very tough, drought- and heat-resistant California native. Blonde Ambition is the showiest variety of this popular turf alternative; the flowers and seeds of this sun-loving, warm-season grass are even bigger than the straight species. The leaves are a deep blue-green (hence the name). For native landscapes with low water, you will not be disappointed in blue grama grass’s fluffy late summer display of buff-colored flowers that hang around well into fall. You can see specimens in the arboretum’s Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus.

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