A major warm season grass found throughout the Great Plains. It is found on the plains, prairies, and foothills of most western states. It is short (6 to 24 inches) stature and perennial with a prolific root system. This species has some henotypic plasticity since in the southern states it grows normally as a bunch grass, but in the northern states and in the mountains, or in areas under heavy grazing pressure it is a sod former. Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of an organism to alter its physiology or morphology in response to changes in environmental conditions (Schlichting, 1986). Blue grama possesses the C-4 photosynthetic pathway for carbon fixation (Waller and Lewis, 1979).
Forage: A highly palatable grass for livestock on a year long basis. It is used sparingly by antelope and other wildlife species. Blue grama rates with buffalograss as one of the most important forage plants of the short-grass prairie (Weaver, 1926)
Blue grama can be used in mixtures with other grasses for use in erosion control situations. It is commonly used as a low maintenance turf planting, such as rough areas of a golf course or between rows in multiple row wind break plantings and in locations prone to drought. It is also used in surface mine re-vegetation plantings.