Native Plant Database

Callicarpa americana. Photo: Mervin Wallace

Big Bluestem

Andropogon gerardii
Plant Type: Grasses / Sedges / Rushes
Native Environment: Prairie
Season of Interest: Winter (Nov - Mar)
Main Color: Green
Fall Color:
Hardy From Zone: 1
Hardy To Zone: 1
Sun Exposure 
Full Sun
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate
Nature Attracting
Wildlife Benefit
Cover
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

5 to
9
feet

Spread:

2 to
3
feet
Size
Height: 5 to
9
feet
Spread: 2 to
3
feet
Size
Height: 5 to
9
feet
Spread: 2 to
3
feet
Typical Landscape Use
Use as a hedge or screen or plant in a prairie. Can be used at the back of a native plant garden.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Grow in full sun in moist or dry soil. Shade will cause flopping.
Special Features
Special Usage
Basic Description

Upright clumps of green to blue-green leaves in summer. Foliage turns rich orange and copper-red in fall. Flower heads resembling upside down turkey claws appear in late August. They open red and turn darker with age. If left up, the foliage adds interest to the winter landscape and provides cover for wildlife.

Where Should I Start?

Check out the Grow Native! Committee’s Top Ten picks of native plants for a particular purpose.

What’s the Next Step?

Picked out your plants? View our Resource Guide of garden centers, seed sources, landscapers, education resources, and more!

Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

Support the Grow Native! Program