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CommentsSide Oats Grama is the only Bouteloua sp. (Grama Grass) that is fairly common in Illinois. Two other species, Bouteloua gracilis (Blue Grama) and Bouteloua hirsuta (Hairy Grama), are shorter grasses that are more common in states of the Great Plains. These latter two species have curious racemes of spikes that are shaped like eye-lashes; they tend to be held horizontally in relation to the ground. Among the grasses of Illinois, the inflorescence of Side Oats Grama is really quite unique as the spaced out spikes tend to droop on one side of the raceme's central axis. As a result, this interesting grass is easy to identify. Side Oats Grama is a warm-season grass with a C4 metabolism (a trait it shares with other Grama Grasses). This enables it to tolerate the hot dry summers of the Midwest and other areas further to the west.