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Big Bluestem

Andropogon gerardii, native

  • Warm season perennial
  • Plants send out tough, strong rhizomes so the stand becomes sod-forming
  • Grows very tall in good soil and moisture conditions
  • Base of plant turns purplish-blue as it matures
  • Not tolerant to shade
  • Tolerant to wildfire
  • High protein forage for livestock
  • Drought tolerant
  • Commonly used for erosion control
  • Can be slow to establish
  • Provides shelter for nesting birds
  • Dominant species in tallgrass prairies
  • Common in open woods, prairies, meadows, along riverbanks and roadsides
  • Abundant in lowland prairies, overflow sites and sandy areas

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Characteristics Table
Growth HabitBunchgrass
Flood ToleranceExcellent
Drought ToleranceGood
Salt ToleranceFair
Soil PHNeutral to Basic
Soil TypeModerately Coarse to Moderately Fine
Approx. Seeds/lb130,000
Canopy Mature Height1-3m

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