Big Bluestem

(Andropogon gerardii)

Grass Family

Big Bluestem

This grass grows in tufted branches. Flowering stalks average 3 to 6 feet tall. Portions of the stout, round stem are frequently bluish or purplish, hence the name. The leaves are rolled into a tube in the buds, and unroll as they emerge, growing up to 2 feet long and less than 1/2 inch wide. The leaves turn a reddish bronze color after frost. Groups of 3 flowers form in dense, elongated clusters from a common point at the tops of tall stalks. The flowering stems may produce several erect side branches, each with a cluster of flowers. The individual clusters are 2 to 4 inches long. Each hairy seed has a long, twisted, bristle-like awn.

Last Modified: 1/11/17 2:23 PM