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Andropogon Garardii - Big Blue Stem

Andropogon Garardii - Big Blue Stem

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Big Bluestem is a perennial warm-season tall grass and is capable of growing in a variety of soil types as long as the soil is relatively moist. It can grow in sun and/or shade.

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Andropogon Garardii - Big Blue Stem

Andropogon Garardii - Big Blue Stem, better known as Big Bluestem, Turkeyfoot, or Bluejoint is a tall grass plant native to the prairie region of the United States, and in the grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands of the eastern United States. It is very common throughout many areas of the United States, and most people have seen it plenty of times but may not be familiar with its actual name. Big Bluestem is a perennial warm-season tall grass and is capable of growing in a variety of soil types as long as the soil is relatively moist. It can grow in the sun and/or shade. Mature specimens are very imposing growing to a mature height of 1–3 meters or 3.3–9.8 feet. The base of the stem changes to a lovely blue or purple as the plant matures hence the name "big bluestem." Notably, this plant is quick growing and grows after wildfires have desecrated the surrounding areas. Plants are anchored by an extensive fibrous root system that is said to penetrate the soil at a depth of 10 feet or more. The plant blooms in the summer and emits seeds through the fall. The flower cluster is of two to six flowers, with an average of three. Skinny and spiky flowers alternately arranged along the top of the stem somewhat resemble a turkey's foot hence one of the plant's alternative names, "turkey foot". There are many spiky elements to the plant from the base of the stem to the flowers; the spikelets are very prevalent all over. This grass is vital to the ecosystem because it is used by ranchers to feed horses and cattle due to its high protein content. Big Bluestem can also be used as a hay and is considered a potential for alternative ethanol production. The Big Bluestem is a vital plant to the fragile ecosystem of much of the United States. Andropogon Garardii - Big Blue Stem