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Elliott's Bluestem Andropogon gyrans

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Andropogon elliottii
Phonetic Spelling
an-dro-POH-gon JY-rans
Description

Elliot's Bluestem is a native warm-season perennial bunchgrass found in moist woodlands, sandhills, fields, and disturbed areas in the central and eastern U.S.A. and is found in all areas of NC but primarily in the sandhills and Piedmont. This plant is heat tolerant and it's foliage persists through the winter which provides shelter for insects, quail, and other small mammals. Cattle will graze this grass. 

This grass prefers sandy or loam soils in full sun to partial shade from dry to wet sites. It is not often used in the garden and may be difficult to find. Best used in naturalized areas as meadows, along streams or ponds.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#wildlife plant#meadow#stream banks#pond margins#NC native#warm-season grass#disturbed areas#naturalized area#larval host plant#food source herbage#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains OBL#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#pollinator garden#audubon#woodlands#common wood-nymph butterfly#various skipper butterflies
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#wildlife plant#meadow#stream banks#pond margins#NC native#warm-season grass#disturbed areas#naturalized area#larval host plant#food source herbage#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains OBL#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#pollinator garden#audubon#woodlands#common wood-nymph butterfly#various skipper butterflies
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Andropogon
    Species:
    gyrans
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and eastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Members of the genus Andropogon supports Common Wood-Nymph (Cercyonis pegala) larvae which have one brood from late May to October. Adult Common Wood-Nymph butterflies feed on rotting fruit and flower nectar. This plant also supports various Skipper larvae. Provides shelter for field birds, small mammals and insects.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
    Fruit Description:
    The seedhead is a raceme, partially enclosed in a conspicuously enlarged spathe, which turns a rusty color when the plant matures in October-November
  • Flowers:
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Flower Description:
    Grass-like flowers in terminal and axillary panicles September-October
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The basal and stem leaves are up to 10 inches long, linear with entire margins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Green stems with white hairs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat