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Andropogon ternarius

Phonetic Spelling
an-dro-POH-gon tern-AR-ee-us
Description

Splitbeard Bluestem is a native ornamental warm-season perennial bunchgrass in the Poaceae family. It grows up to 3 feet tall with a 2-foot spread. Summer foliage is blue-green turning copper, red, and bronze in the fall. From late summer through fall, fluffy, silver seed heads catch the sun. Looks beautiful in many settings including meadows, cottage gardens, or planted en masse.

Fire Risk: This plant has an extreme flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home.  Select plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home.  

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#butterflies#fall color#birds#wildlife plant#cover plant#winter interest#host plant#fall interest#ornamental grass#cottage garden#meadow#mammals#dried flowers#food source#fire#extreme flammability#NC native#deer resistant#broomstraw#native garden#shimmer#native ornamental grass#fall food source#larval host plant#food source winter
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#butterflies#fall color#birds#wildlife plant#cover plant#winter interest#host plant#fall interest#ornamental grass#cottage garden#meadow#mammals#dried flowers#food source#fire#extreme flammability#NC native#deer resistant#broomstraw#native garden#shimmer#native ornamental grass#fall food source#larval host plant#food source winter
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Andropogon
    Species:
    ternarius
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Adropogons were historically used for broom straw.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & E. U.S.A. to NE. Mexico
    Fire Risk Rating:
    extreme flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides excellent cover year-round. Host plant for Common Wood-Nymph and various skipper species of butterflies. Seeds are eaten by songbirds and small mammals.
    Play Value:
    Wind Shimmer
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grass
    Perennial
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Vase
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Description:
    Seed heads are fluffy and shimmer in the wind.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Flower Description:
    Fluffy, white
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaf blades are slender and develop a blue cast as they age.  In the fall the blades turn shades of copper for great fall interest in the garden. Copper in fall.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Near Septic
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Fairy Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer