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Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii

A perennial, clump-forming, warm-season grass that grows 3-9'. This species is used to stabilize soil and slow surface runoff, especially in upland buffer zones. Will perform well in well drained rain garden situations.

USDA symbol: ANGE

General Information

Plant TypeGrass
Height6 feet
Light ExposurePart Sun, Sun
Soil MoistureDry
Bloom ColorBrown, Red
Big Bluestem (Big Bluestem<div><em class="small">Andropogon gerardii</em></div>)
Photo credit: Minnesota Native Landscapes (Click to enlarge)

Tolerances

Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience9
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, Fire Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: High

Bloom MonthsJuly to September
Larval Host ofButterflies
Specific Pollinators HostedNumerous butterfly species
Pollinator BenefitStem Nesting

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Restoration, Sandy or Engineered Soils, Shoreline Buffer, Upland Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism4
Herbivore SensitivityHigh
LifespanPerennial
Rate of SpreadMedium
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal

Range

CountyAnoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Lac qui, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Sherburne, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Wright
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands