Big Bluestem Andropogon gerardii
Attract butterflies and songbirds to your garden while adding architectural height, attractive foliage and winter interest with big bluestem grass.
Native from Canada to Mexico, big bluestem has been called the prince of the tallgrass prairie. The leaves begin the season as bluish green, change to green with a tinge of red in summer and turn a reddish bronze with hints of lavender after the first fall frost.
The purplish flowers are 2 to 4 inches long and branched into 3 fingerlike parts, inspiring the other common name, turkey foot grass. When in bloom, this grass reaches heights of 5 to 8 feet tall.
24 songbirds use it for food, cover and nesting sites.
Use this tall beauty as a screen or backdrop in the landscape or massed with other wildflowers in meadows, prairies or naturalized areas.
A bit more information: Big bluestem foliage feeds a variety of skipper caterpillar. It is widespread and the dominant species in Midwestern tallgrass prairies.