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ANDROPOGON virginicus

Image of Andropogon virginicus

James H. Schutte

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

ANDROPOGON virginicus

Plant Common Name

Broomsedge, Broomsedge Bluestem

General Description

Broomsedge bluestem is a perennial, clump-forming warm-season grass that sends up seedstalks topped with coarse seedheads in autumn. Itis native to the dry fields and open woodlands of the eastern United States. Autumnal frosts and sunshine will turn the entire plant a warm, orange-tan or brown, and the small hairs of the seeds are stunning when the glow in low-angle sunlight. Skipper butterflies lay their eggs on the grass's leaves, and birds eat and spread the seeds, which sprout readily, making this grass invasive in some conditions.

This grass needs partial sun to light shade in an average, well-drained soil, but is tolerant of full sun, nutrient-poor soil and even intermittently soggy soils. Allow the plant to dry in place for interest and wildlife in winter and cut it back in very early spring before new growth starts. This species is known to reseed and colonize itself on overgrazed or disturbed soils, and thus perhaps is not the best choice for a tidy garden. However, it would be a handsome member of a meadow or an accent in the mixed border among asters and mums.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Width

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Texas

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    White, Tan, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Orange, Tan, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Tan, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Dried Flower/Everlasting, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes