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Andropogon gerardii

Pronunciation: An-dro-po-gon jer-ar-dee-eye
Family: Poaceae/gramineae (grass family)
Common Name: Big bluestem, turkey foot bluestem
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: 5-10'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: In late summer, big bluestem produces terminal 3 in (7. 6 cm) bronze to purplish seed heads that stand above the foliage. The flowering stalk has three finger-like branches that look to some like a turkey's foot; interesting, but not very showy. The foliage stays attractive through winter, but the seed heads disintegrate.
Propagation: Propagate bluestems by seed or by dividing the root mass.
Notes for Identification:

Big bluestem is grown for its lush summer foliage and reliable fall and winter color. This is an adaptable, carefree grass that is well suited for naturalizing in a meadow or prairie garden. The flowering stems can get over 8 ft (20. 3 m) tall, but they aren't dense with foliage and you can see right through them, so you don't have to relegate big bluestem to the rear. Take advantage of the see-through quality and grow big bluestem with tall, bright colored flowers like purpletop verbena (verbena bonariensis), mexican sunflower (tithonia rotundifolia) and blazing star (liatris). A row of big bluestems makes a suitable border or screen and a single plant is an attractive specimen in a mixed border.   plant info from:  floridata

Seed photo: 0
Located in: Perennials
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