Botanical Name: Pleuraphis jamesii
Common Name: Galleta, Curly grass  
Plant photo of: Pleuraphis jamesii
Previous Photo     Next Photo

Water Saving Tip:

Even though it's hot, your lawn only needs to be watered twice a week to stay healthy.

And don't water the whole lawn for a brown spot—drag out a hose.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Ground cover, Perennial, Grass


Height Range



Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Green, Light Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season








Growth Rate



Soil Type

Clay, Loam, Rocky


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Poor, Well-drained, Dry


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Meadow, Mediterranean, Ranch, Spanish, Native Garden, Woodland


Accenting Features

Fall Color


Seasonal Interest

Spring, Summer


Location Uses

Lawn, Parking Strip


Special Uses

Erosion Control, Lawn Alternative, Naturalizing


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
Photographer: wrong picture
  • Description

  • Notes

A low growing (3 to 20 inches tall), rather coarse grass, growing as an open sod or in small bunches. Spreads by rhizomes and seeds. Seed spikes are purplish to straw-colored, and usually flower in the spring. Leave blades are narrow, and soft green turning to straw when dry or dormant. Use for a meadow or informal lawn area; mixes well with side and blue grama, sand dropseed, and buffalograss for a low-water lawn. A warm-season grass, it is dormant during the cooler parts of the spring, fall, and of course, during the winter. A Utah native.
Galleta will grow in a variety of soils, from coarse to fine, and even clay soils. It tolerates heavy foot traffic and a lot of trampling. Spreads through rhizomes and seed. Mowable, but set the mower as high as possible, ideally between 4 to 6 inches. According to USU, it provides excellent erosion control for in semi-desert conditions. Syn. with Hilaria jamesii. Full sun.