Andropogon glomeratus: Bushy Bluestem

Latin name: Andropogon glomeratus
 Andropogon glomeratus: Bushy Bluestem
Common name: Bushy Bluestem
Flowers: Bushy inflorescenes2,10
Fruit: Inconspicuous16 
Height & Width: 5-6’ x 3’2
Type: Perennial10
Habit: Upright, clump-forming3
Wetland indicator category**: FACW17
Texture: Medium2
Growth rate: Medium3
Light: Sun10
Moisture: Medium to wet12
Soil*: Tolerates a wide variety of soil types12
Zones: 3-92
Origin: Lower Western to Eastern United States, including 
South Carolina16

Features: Bushy Bluestem features showy copper-orange fall and winter color that persists for months2. During the growing season, this large grass displays flattened blue stems from which the bushy flower plumes appear in late summer3. Beneficial to a wide variety of wildlife10

Siting: Andropogon glomeratus needs plenty of room to grow and performs best in medium to wet soils2. It can handle light shade, though it prefers full sun12.

Care: Plant crown at soil level18. At planting, water the roots and surrounding area slowly and deeply. Keep soil moist until plant is established, then apply enough water to thoroughly moisten the root zone when the soil is dry or during drought. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the plant stems18. Cut clumps to the ground in late winter to allow room for new growth12. 

Pests: Plants are relatively pest resistant if cultural preferences are met.

This plant does not appear on the following invasive plant lists on (10/30/12):

X  USDA SC Invasive Plant Species Web site at http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/main.shtml

X  SC Exotic Plant Pest Council Web site at http://www.se-eppc.org/southcarolina/