Bluestem (4)

The Andropogon genus can be recognized by its stout stems, which may be reddish or purplish, basal leaves and hairy seed heads that are branched from a single point. See also Little Bluestem.

Andropogon gerardii

Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii

Family: Grass (Poaceae)
AKA: Turkeyfoot, Bluejoint Beardgrass
Photo taken on: October 15, 2011
Location: White Rock, NM
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Roadsides, prairies, open woods

Grows to 7ft tall with side stems up to 4" long attached to the main stem at the same point. The flowers are reddish with a bent bristle and a tuft of white hairs at the base.arrow

Andropogon gerardii







Compare to Windmill Grass which grows to only 2ft.

Photo taken on: October 15, 2011
Location: White Rock, NM

Bothriochloa barbinodis

Cane Bluestem
Bothriochloa barbinodis (Andropogon barbinodis)

Family: Grass (Poaceae)
AKA: Cane Beardgrass
Photo taken on: October 18, 2011
Location: White Rock, NM
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Roadsides, prairies, waste areas

Grows to 4ft tall with straw colored stems and showy, feathery flower heads up to 6" long. Below is Cane Bluestem in flower.

Bothriochloa barbinodis

Bothriochloa laguroides

Silver Bluestem
Bothriochloa laguroides (Andropogon saccharoides)

Family: Grass (Poaceae)
AKA: Silver Beardgrass
Photo taken on: September 15, 2011
Location: White Rock, NM
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Roadsides, prairies, waste areas

Grows to 3 ½ft with plume-like flower spikes of 6 or more side stems. Distinguished by the long silky hairs on the flowers.

Andropogon hallii

Sand Bluestem
Andropogon hallii

Family: Grass (Poaceae)
AKA: Sand Hill Bluestem, Hall's Bluestem, Hall's Beardgrass,
 Prairie Bluestem

Photo taken on: September 14, 2014
Location: Great Sand Dunes NP, CO
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Sandy soil

A robust plant that can grow to 7ft tall, these were 4ft tall, in dense clumps. Leaves are green to bluish-green and flat. Flower head has two to seven side stems. After flowering the seed-heads are densely hairy.

 sand bluestem

Grasses, Sedges & Rushes