Native Plant of the Week

Common Name: Big Bluestem, Turkeyfoot

Scientific Name: Andropogon gerardii

 You are welcome to visit the

Native Plant of the Week

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.

The featured plant will be in the front yard

and will be marked.  

 big bluestem plant of the week 2 big bluestem plant of the week

 

General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches 6-10 feet in height.  Grass blades have a bluish tint and seeds/flowers form on short “spikelets”.  There are often three spikelets at the tip of the stalk which resemble a turkey’s foot; a feature which earned big bluestem one of its other common names.

Habitat: Big bluestem is the dominant grass of the Midwestern tallgrass prairies and grows best in moist soil with full sun.  However, it ranges over much of the eastern U.S. and tolerates drought and partial shade quite well.  This makes big bluestem a flexible player in a native Virginia landscape.

Additional information: Big bluestem provides excellent cover for wildlife and the nutritious seeds are eaten by many birds.  It is also a larval host for several species of butterflies.  The foliage of big bluestem turns an attractive russet color in the Fall and the seed stalks are a great addition to flower arrangements.

” If half the American lawns were replaced with naitve plants, we could create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park – nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than the Shenandoah National Park.”   Doug Tallamy

Read more here

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