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Andropogon gerardii - Vitman.

Common Name Big Bluestem
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry soils, prairies, open ground and open woods[222, 236].
Range Eastern and Central N. America - Maine to Saskatchewan, south to Florida, Arizona and Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Andropogon gerardii Big Bluestem


USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States. USDA Miscellaneous Publication No. 200. Washington, DC
Andropogon gerardii Big Bluestem

 

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Summary

Native to the Great Plains and prairie regions of central North America and grasslands, savannas and woodlands throughout eastern North America Andropogon gerardii/Big bluestem is a tall grass in the Poaceae family with some medicinal properties. Common names include big bluestem, turkeyfoot, tall bluestem, and bluejoint.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Andropogon gerardii is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Analgesic  Carminative  Diuretic

The plant is analgesic, carminative and diuretic[222]. A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of stomach-aches and flatulence[222, 257]. A tea made from the leaves is used as a wash to relieve fevers and general debility[222, 257].

References

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Good forage for horses and cattle, and can also be cut and used for hay. A desirable and ecologically important grass by cattle ranchers and rangeland ecologists. Due to its drought tolerance it is used in wildlife gardens, natural landscaping, and grassland habitat restoration projects. A potential feedstock for ethanol production.

Special Uses

Food Forest

References

Cultivation details

Requires a light porous sandy soil in full sun[200]. A very ornamental plant, it forms large clumps, spreading by short stolons[200]. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 7 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is fibrous dividing into a large number of fine roots [1-2].

References

Temperature Converter

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Fahrenheit:

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Propagation

Seed - surface sow in early spring in a greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for the first winter in a cold greenhouse. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive. Some concern in Illinois, USA.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Andropogon virginicusBroomsedge BluestemPerennial1.2 5-9  LNDM011

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

Vitman.

Botanical References

200236

Links / References

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