Andropogon gerardii ‘Blackhawks’ #2 (Big Bluestem)August 25, 2020
Anemone canadensis #1 (Meadow Anemone)August 25, 2020
Andropogon gerardii #2 (Big Bluestem)
Big Bluestem is a major component of the North American tallgrass prairie. It grows to a flowering height of 8′ in hot, dry, infertile soils but risks flopping over in soils that are too rich and moist. This grass thrives on neglect in full sun locations and even has a moderate salt tolerance. It turns a smoldering orange color in fall with turkey foot shaped seed heads that dance in the wind. Big Bluestem will self-seed in favorable conditions, growing into tight clumps with shortly branching rhizomes and deep, fibrous roots. It is a warm-season grass which means it doesn’t start putting on growth until later in the season, giving the cool-season grasses and forbs a chance to grow and flower before it dominates the habitat.
Big Bluestem is an important food source for granivorous birds, the caterpillars of several species of skippers, katydids, and grasshoppers, as well as providing much needed cover for wildlife.
Native Ferns, Moss, & Grasses by William Cullina
Gardening with Grasses by Michael King and Piet Oudolf
Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster and James A. Duke
Missouri Botanical Garden
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
National Park Service