Andropogon garardii Big Blue Stem Grass
A majestic Missouri native grass, Big Blue Stem, Andropogon gerardii, filled the tallgrass prairies of the Midwest. Its attractive foliage changes colors throughout the growing season making it beautiful choice as an ornamental grass. Its leaf blades emerge bluish-gray in spring, transform to green with red tinges in summer, then turn reddish-bronze with purple tones in fall. Its purplish 3-part flowers that resemble turkey feet appear on tall 4-6′ stems that rise in late summer above the clump. The distinctive 3-parted, finger-like flower clusters that remind many of turkey feet, hence its other common name Turkeyfoot Grass. Showy seeds follow the flowers.Deer resistant.
This magnificent long-lived grass can be used in a multitude of uses including screening, as a hedge, dramatic focal point, background for other perennials, planted in large containers, naturalizing, prairie restoration, and nesting materials for birds and animals. Big Blue Stem looks gorgeous in natural settings and wildflower gardens.
Known as “Monarch of the Prairie,” our native Big Blue Stem Grass was once the dominant grass of the Midwest tallprass prairie. Very easy to grow, it easily adapts to wide range of soil and moisture conditions. It requires full sun, at least 6 hours a day, although if you get hot afternoon sun you get a way with a little less.
Plant in full sun. Easy to grow in well drained soils. It grows well in poor soils. Although drought tolerant, keep well watered until established. Cut plants to the ground in late winter.
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