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Big Bluestem


Family – Poaceae, grass family
Genus species – Andropogon gerardii

Leaves are flat, long, with rough edges. Leaves start out bluish, then turn reddish-purple.

Flower has three spike-like projections, looks like a bird’s foot, usually purplish in color. Flowers are produced in pairs, one with a stalk and one without a stalk.

Roots are deep with large rhizomes.

More Information:

The genus name Andropogon is from the Greek; andro- means “man” and -pogon means “beard,” referring to the fuzzy appearance of the seedhead.  The species name gerardii refers to the French botanist, L. Gerard (1733-1819), the first person to describe the plant.  Big Bluestem is also known as “turkey foot” because of the three-pronged appearance of its flowers.