Cane Bluestem , Cane Beardgrass

Bothriochloa barbinodis var. barbinodis



Cane Bluestem is a perennial, warm season, native bunchgrass with stems up to 47 inches or 120 cm that are erect or bent at the base. Stem nodes are bearded with hairs up to 1.25 cm long. Its tapering leaves can be up to 30 cm long by 6 mm wide. Panicles of 5 to 14 cm long emerge from the end of stems and are dense, often partly included in the upper sheath, and have a straight main axis and numerous primary branches. Upper lemma awns are 20 to 35 mm, bent, and twisted. Because primary branching is almost as long as the silvery inflorescence, the mature inflorescence resembles a fan. Dense, silvery white hairs reaching 6 mm contribute to this appearance. Another prominent common name for this grass is "Cane Beardgrass." It provides fair grazing for livestock and is readily consumed by wildlife. The presence of Cane Bluestem indicates that the range is in good condition.


It occurs mostly on loose limestone soils where it thrives best. Tends to be found as a solitary plant or in a small group rather than in extensive stands.