Andropogon gerardii

Common name: Big Bluestem

Native plant

Known commonly as Big Bluestem, but to those of us that are prairie nuts it will always be “turkey-foot” because of the bird-like track it makes when you slap the seed head on sandy ground. It is a very tall grass, the tallest native grass in the area, reaching maximum heights of 8 feet. The stems turn a blue/purple color in late summer and into fall which can lend a dramatic effect to a prairie or garden planting. Big Bluestem matures rather quickly, even from seed, with full height reached in two seasons if they are well cared for. It is a lovely addition to most gardens in full to part sun and can tolerate most soils save the very dry. Just remember that this one gets very big, but it grows just fine if crowded.


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Price Level: 
Perennial- Standard
Sizing Options: 
Flat of 32 (plugs)
Flat of 18 (pints)
1 Gallon

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Plant Details

Plant type

Grasses, Sedges and Rushes

Soil type

Dry Mesic, Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry), Moist Mesic

Light exposure

Full Sun

Bloom period


Urban environment

Harsh Exposure Tolerant, Road-side/Salt Tolerant


Prairie Grasslands

Growth form

Colonizing / Spreading, Rhizomatous/stoloniferous

Growth rate


Flower color


Fall color

Russet Orange Yellow


Mature height
3 Feet
Mature width
2 Feet
Max height
8 Feet
Max width
3 Feet

Additional information

Great for Screening/Border Plantings Loved by birds

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