Andropogon gerardii

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Big Bluestem

Poaceae (Graminae)

Plant Specifics

Size:4-7 (10) ft tall by 3-5 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Green
Fruit Color:Brown
Noted for:Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Sunny garden where a large, clumping grass is an asset. Noted for silvery-blue foliage that turns bronze in fall.
Considerations:If used in a garden, too much water, shade, or fertilizer can cause it to get top-heavy and fall over.
Propagation:Division of clumps, seed.
Light: Full Sun
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Tolerant of inundation with brackish water
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Adaptable



Provides cover and seed for many species of songbirds.


Larval host for the Delaware skipper (Anatrytone logan) and the dusted skipper (Atrytonopsis hianna).

Native Habitats:Flatwoods, prairies.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:The grass is favored by livestock and so has become much rarer than when there was only seasonal bison grazing.