1606 N 600 Rd, Baldwin City, 66006

big bluestem

Andropogon gerardii

This colorful, robust hardy grass is NATIVE FROM CANADA TO MEXICO. Tall foliage turns light red after frost. An excellent backdrop for shrubs and perennials, and also planted with tall flowering natives. Tough, self-sufficient big bluestem is justly famed for restoring damaged soil and compromised sites.

‘Dancing Wind’ is a selection of this North American native chosen for drought tolerance, adaptability to native soils and low maintenance along with superior red display in autumn.

‘Blackhawks’ emerges deep green to purple and changing to dramatic black by fall.


The caterpillars of several skippers feed on the foliage, including the Delaware Skipper, dusted Skipper, Leonard’s Skipper, Cobweb Skipper, Ottoe Skipper, Indian Skipper, and Byssus Skipper. Big Bluestem is an important food plant of the short-winged Meadow Katydid and many leafhoppers. The seeds are eaten by many songbirds, including field sparrows, tree sparrows, and chipping sparrows. The foliage is readily eaten by bison, cattle, and other livestock.