Andropogon ternarius

Splitbeard Bluestem

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Splitbeard Bluestem ornamental native grass thrives in sunny, dry locations. It tolerates infertile, sandy and clay soil; its foliage is refined, yet it is a sturdy plant.  Split-Beard Bluestem looks beautiful in many settings, including meadows, delicate gardens, in masses and in highway plantings. Throughout the growing season stems appear bluish-green, but in the fall they become multicolored with blues, purples and reds. In addition, bright white blooms appear that are prized for use in dried and fresh flower arrangements.

Type: 

Ornamental Grass

Height: 

2 - 4'

Spread: 

2 - 3'

Spacing: 

None

USDA Hardiness Zone: 

6 - 9

Culture: 

Full Sun

Bloom Color: 

None

Season of Interest: 

Winter

MAINTENANCE NEEDS: Easily grown in medium to wet soils in full sun. Tolerates very light shade. Prefers moist, fertile, loamy soils that do not dry out and is generally intolerant of dry soils. It should be noted that the moist soil preference for this species distinguishes it from most other species of Andropogon including the Missouri native Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem). Freely self-seeds in optimum growing conditions. Cut clumps to the ground in late winter to early spring before new shoots appear.

LANDSCAPE USES: Naturalize, Mass Planting, Meadow

COMPANION PLANTS: Milkweed, Tickseed, Black Eyed Susan

Image: USGS

 

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