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Andropogon gerardii

Common name big bluestem grass
Family poaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z3-8)
Flowers bronze (Aug-Oct)
Size 5-8'
Light full sun
Cultural notes not fussy, drought-tolerant
From seed give 2 weeks cold, then germinate at room temperature with light exposure
detailed seed-starting info below

American prairie native grass. Warm-season: doesn't really take off until summer. Clumps get bigger every year, but don't spread agressively. Our main stand gets squeezed between pushy neighbors, so that it has no choice but to flop in the only open direction - that's why the stems go near-horizontal in the photo; its natural habit is much more upright.

Andropogon gerardii
big bluestem grass
Up close, you can see the intriguing two flower parts: yellow hanging bits (male), and fuzzy bits (female)

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from JL Hudson, 1998. Baggy, cold 2 wks, 70F with light (85%G, 5-7d)
  2. Seed from '07 garden. Baggy 35F (31d) - 70F (3w; 10%G, 6d)
  3. Seed from '07 garden. Baggy 35F (2w) - 70F (3%G, 9d)

Excellent long-term seed viability! Plants stay small in their first year.

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