Andropogon glomeratus

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Bushy Bluestem

Poaceae (Gramineae)

Also known as Andropogon glomeratus var. glomeratus, Andropogon glomeratus var. hirsuitior, Andropogon glomeratus var. pumilus, Andropogon glomeratus var. glaucopsis, Andropogon glaucopsis

Plant Specifics

Size:3-5 (6) ft tall by 1-3 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Green
Fruit Color:Silvery green turning orange
Noted for:Fall color


Recommended Uses:Background plant in casual landscape. Fruit stalks start out silvery green and transition to and orangy brown. Retains the old stalks through the winter.
Considerations:May fall over at the end of the season. Will be neater if old stalks are removed before new growth starts in spring.
Propagation:Division, sprigging, seed.
Availability:Native nurseries, Seed
Light: Full Sun
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Loam, Organic material (muck), Sand
Soil pH:Acidic to neutral



Seeds eaten by various small birds and other wildlife. 


Possible larval host plant for Delaware skipper (Anatrytone logan), Georgia satyr (Neonympha areolata), neamathla skipper (Nastra neamathla), swarthy skipper (Nastra lherminier) and twin-spot skipper (Oligoria maculata) butterflies.

Native Habitats:Flatwoods, marshes

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

There are several different subspecies of A. glomeratus with different affinities for upland and wetland conditions.

  • A. glomeratus var. glaucopsis is notable as it has a blue-purple coloration and is almost always found in wetlands.  It is sometimes considered to be a separate species
  • A. glomeratus var. pumilus has the widest distribution in Florida and based on the relative numbers of herbarium specimens, likely the most common.
  • A. glomeratus var. hirsuitior is widespread but probably less common than var. pumilis.
  • A. glomeratus var. glomeratus has no documented herbarium specimens in the southern half of the peninsula.

Uses of the latter 3 varieties should be similar as their habitats are similar.