Andropogon gerardii

big bluestem

Poaceae (Graminae)

wildlife plant   wildlife plant   wildlife plant

Use this link to get more info about this plant from the USF Institute for Systematic Botany

Plant Specifics

Form: grass
Life Span: long-lived perennial
Size: Height: 4-7 (10) ft    Width: 3-5 ft
Flower Color: flower color      green
Fruit Color: fruit color      brown
Phenology: deciduous
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.
Availability: Seed
Light: light requirement  
Moisture Tolerance:
Salt Tolerance: Moderately salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand, loam
Soil pH Range: adaptable


wildlife plant   wildlife plant   wildlife plant  
Larval host for the Delaware skipper (Anatrytone logan)and the dusted skipper (Atrytonopsis hianna). Provides cover and seed for many species of songbirds.
Native Habitats: Flatwoods, prairies.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida

USDA Zones:

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Suitable to grow in:


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