Plant Common Name
Bushy Beardgrass, Bushy Bluestem, Bushy Broom Grass
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
Exceptionally showy in flower and once dried in autumn and winter, the fluffy and broom-like seed heads of bushy bluestem are worth inclusion in any garden. An upright, clumping perennial grass native to Central America and the West Indies, it will reseed itself in the landscape especially if soils are moist.
The upright grassy foliage is bluish green and semi-evergreen in very mild winter regions. From late summer to late winter, depending on climate, upright plumes of silvery white to light pink flowers appear. Unlike other bluestems, this species' flowers are plump and do resemble upright feather-brooms. Once nipped by frosts or seasonal winter drought, these plumes become a bronzy tan and gradually dry to unleash their cottony seeds into the wind.
Plant bushy bluestem in full to partial sun in fertile loams or friable clay soils that are never dry. Tolerant of light saltspray exposure, the soil should always be amply moist. In early spring, cut off dried leaf straw to allow fresh growth to look its best. Use it as a lovely accent in a mixed border or large container. The very ornamental seed plumes should be readily seen and touched in the garden. Do take care to pull up seedling of this grass to lessen its invasive peskiness.
AHS Heat Zone
10 - 5
USDA Hardiness Zone
5 - 9
H1, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m
2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m
Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter
Caribbean, Central America
Container, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
Sharp or Has Thorns