BOUTELOUA ‘Blonde Ambition’, Blue Grama Grass

September 10, 2018

I was strolling through our local nursery’s end of year sale when I spotted the unmistakable flowers of Bouteloua ‘Blonde Ambition’. I nearly ran to the spot and found just two left. One nearly dormant and the other fully dormant. I bought them both anyway and will hope they are truly dormant and not dead. Dormant is so pretty!

Here is a photo of one with a Penstemon new to me, Glitterbelle. I think they make a wonderful combination.

Comments (5)

  • Linda's Garden z6 Utah

    Love it! It looks great with the penstemon! I just bought one too at my local nursery. What is the dark purple plant behind it?

  • texasranger2

    They get HUGE by the third year and put out little plants at the end of stems which like to take root. Mine are about 3ft across, thick tussocks, a bit overwhelming and I think of them now as space hogs. I've decided I like the common plain-jane wild ones better because they stay 'demure' and make good filler and add a nice light color and they still have the 'skeeters' floating above. I left 3 and removed 4 this year. I cut one back midsummer and now its big again. I will probably take out the other three next year. They are overwhelming the area.

    Linda, make sure you give it space.

    Edited to say they are 3ft across (not 4ft). The plant is one foot diameter when trimmed down close to the ground in spring and they quickly grow a foot in all directions + the height of the seed stems which adds even more height and width but that part is airy. I planted mine on 4ft centers and they touch each other.

    Eco--you might want to move yours next year, it will crowd out the penstemon and I figure you like those better than the grass.

  • echolane

    Tex - Thanks for the warning on size. It’s one of my common problems, not to allow enough space for future size, though it’s also that I don’t have a lot of space left for adding new plants ! I think I’ll put them in containers for next year. It’ll be easier for me to show them off with an appropriate companion, or companions. I’ve already put the Penstemon in a container and I can make a group of the three or add a couple of other perennials to make a group of five.

    Linda, the dark purple flowering plant behind is Penstemon Sour Grapes, a plant I like to rave about. Check out my contribution on it in the topic about long blooming plants. And also in the topic about the Bluestems, Blue Heaven and Standing Ovation.

  • Linda's Garden z6 Utah

    Tex, thanks for the warning about the size. I might have to re-think it's placement in the garden. I do really love the look of it though and I have it planted near a Purple Henry I aster. I thought they would look pretty together in the fall.

    Echo, I will go back and read those posts again. I really LOVE the color of the Sour Grapes! I also just planted a Little Bluestem called Smoke Signal...I hope I gave that one enough space. The color on it is gorgeous!

  • texasranger2

    Linda, the bluestem will probably easily fit in a one foot space, its vertical rather than mounding like the Blonde Ambition, although I haven't grown that particular variety thats the general rule. I was flabbergasted at how big the B.Ambition got since I was used to the cuter but typical native type which are shorter tufts with lots of seed heads. One other thing, the Blonde Ambition are dying out in the centers so that means dividing--- probably in spring of the 4th year or you'll have to core the center out down to the soil so it fills in from the outside. I divided one this spring and ended up with 4 good sized plants (and many small rooted sections which I tossed) that have been slow to take hold and recover.

    The only penstemons I grow are SW native varieties that bloom in spring but they are gorgeous with thick waxy blue leaves. They need good drainage but self sow nicely and I get so many seeds I toss them all over the place.

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