Andropogon gerardii, Big Blue Stem, line drawing

Andropogon gerardii, Big Blue Stem Grass

A beloved Missouri Native Grass, Big Blue Stem, Andropogon gerardii, forms an upright clump of 2′ leaves which emerge gray to blue green in spring, then turn to green with red tints in summer, finally turning reddish bronze with lavender highlights in autumn after frost. Its purplish 3-part flowers that resemble turkey feet appear on tall 4-6′ stems that rise in late summer above the clump. In ideal conditions, flower stalks can grow as large as 8′ tall. Big Bluestem grass was the dominant grass of the Midwest prairie. Excellent in wildflower meadows or naturalized areas, Big Blue Stem can been used as a showy accent or screen. Its deep roots make it very effective for erosion control. Drought tolerant. Also known as Turkeyfoot Grass.

Additional Information

Botanical Name

Andropogon gerardii

Common Name

Big Bluestem Grass, Turkeyfoot Grass

Bloom Color

Purple, Red

Bloom Time

Winter, Fall

Foliage Color

Blue, Green, Red

Light Requirements

Sun

Height

48-72″

Width

24-36″

Uses

Beds, Dried Flower, Erosion Control, Naturalize

Resistance

Black Walnut, Deer, Drought, Erosion

Soil

Average, Dry

Water Needs

Average, Low

Zone

4-9

Plant Type

Grass