Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Andropogon gerardii (Big Bluestem) Ornamental Grass at Lovegrass Farm in P.E.I.

Andropogon gerardii (Big bluestem) Aug.31

Big bluestem in late September

Andropogon gerardii (Big Bluestem) is a native tallgrass prairie plant that can reach 5 - 8 ft. or 1.5 - 2.4 m. tall making it ideal for screening.  It is upright and strictly clump forming and requires Full Sun.  The colours are lovely as fall is approaching and we start to get frost.  Three-branched terminal inflorescences that vaguely resemble turkey's feet appear in late August or early Sept. opening with noticeably bright red pollen sacs.  Big bluestem takes on rich orange and copper-red colors in Autumn and the turkey foot clusters of seeds fluff out silver in color. (Hence its nickname Turkeyfoot)  Wish I had taken a better photo of the plant in the later fall or a close up of the Turkey feet.  This year it will be on my list!

Big bluestem October 31
Once the dominant component of the tallgrass prairie Big bluestem is perfect for naturalizing and for meadow gardens.  Birds and mammals use it for nesting and cover in summer and winter.  Big bluestem requires Full Sun and can be planted singly, mixed with perennials or in a mass planting.  We started our plants from seed two years ago.

Big bluestem Plugs planted in 09
The same plants in mid July 2010

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