Broomsedge Bluestem

Andropogon virginicus



This bunchgrass grows in widely-spaced small tufts. The flat base is usually yellow. The overlapping, flattened sheaths are hairy along the margin of the upper blade surface toward the base. Its narrow blades (4 mm wide) are up to 35 cm long. The upper two-thirds of the plant is freely branching. Leaves turn straw yellow when mature. Stems grow stiffly erect bearing numerous panicles. Ligules are ciliate. The seed heads are partly enclosed in a sheath (spathe). The inflorescence axis has long hairs several times longer than the spikelets.  Broomsedge Bluestem is a perennial, warm-season, native ranging 24 to 48 inches or 0.6 to 1.2 m tall. Poor grazing for livestock and wildlife. Provides nesting for some bird species.


Grows mostly on loose, sandy, moist soils in uplands and woodlands and invades overgrazed ranges and turn-back farmlands. Frequently found with Bushy Bluestem; the Bushy Bluestem occupies wetter more lowland sites.