Big Blustem, Andropogon-gerardii  is a mid-successional grass in prairie and other grassland ecosystems.  It grows in tall (3′-10′) dense stands that can out-compete other plant species. The stands grow until disturbance interrupts their spread.  It is shade tolerant and adapted to fire.  It has great fall color in the range of gold and pink.

The main roots are 6-10′ deep forming a strong sod with excellent absorption of chemicals and other toxins before they hit the ground water Big bluestem blooms in the summer and seeds into the fall.

A host to larvae of several species of butterflies, including the argos skipper, byssus skipper, cobweb skipper and the common wood nymph, Big bluestem is a perennial warm-season bunchgrass.


SPECS: Native Name: Algonquin; Genus: Andropogon; Species: Gerardii; Plant Type: Grass; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun; Soil Moisture: Mesic (middle), Medium Dry; Height: 3′ — 10′; Spread: 3′; Plant Spacing: 2′ — 3′; Bloom Time: July — August; Bloom Color: Blue, Purple; Advantages: Adapted to fire, Deep root system, Erosion control, Forage production, Grassland restoration, Pollinator conservation, Privacy screen; USDA Zone: 4 — 9; Attracts: Skippers; Tolerant: Adapted to fire, Shade; Plant Community: Create an island in a small garden or plant at the back of a prairie border. COMPANION PLANTS: Leadplant, little bluestem, smooth aster, coreopsis, shooting star, rattlesnake master, showy sunflower, rough blazingstar, compass plant & prairie dropseed;

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