Sideoats Grama Prairie Grass
Texas designated sideoats grama as the official state grass in 1971. Sideoats grama is a native species of prairie grass found on rocky hillsides and dry, open grassland. "Side-oats" refers to the small oat-like seeds that hang down uniformly on one side of the seed stem. Sideoats grama prairie grass is a nutritious food for foraging wildlife and livestock. The bright purple and orange flowers of sideoats grama give it a special grace and beauty.
Grasslands cover one third of the Earth's land surface. Grassland plants are mostly grasses and forbs (herbaceous broadleaf plants or wildflowers). A prairie is a particular type of grassland.
The North American prairie is one of the most endangered ecosystems on earth. The grasslands of North America began to form about 20 million years ago, but in some areas up to 99 percent of the prairie has been destroyed (in just the last 125-150 years).