Blue Grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis) was designated the official state grass of Colorado in 1987. Native to the delicate prairies of central North America, blue grama grass can take as long as 50 years to re-establish itself if plowed under or otherwise disturbed. Blue grama is an important prairie grass because its dense, shallow root mass, which holds down the soil (keeping it from blowing away as it did during the 1930'sDust Bowl).
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. Colorado designated a state grass to help inform and educate citizens and tourists about the importance of our grasslands.