Chalky Bluestem (Andropogon virginicus var. glaucus)

Educational Story

The Chalky Bluestem, Andropogon virginicus, is a fast growing grass that grows in scrubby flatwoods and is a primary succession plant that establishes itself after disturbance events such as tropical storms and wildfires. The stems of this grass are covered with a chalky wax coating that can be easily rubbed off,  and gives the stems a blue hue. Close inspection of the grass stem, display a range of color, from the delicate yellow seeds to alternating greens, turquoise, and red-pinks, earning it a reputation of elegance and sophistication for its display of subtle beauty.

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Gardening Facts

Scientific Name: Andropogon virginicus var. glaucus
Common Name: Chalky Bluestem
Description of facts and concepts: A primary succession plant that colonizes disturbed sites
Seed or division information: Clump forming with wind dispersed seeds
Date of flower’s bloom (Month and week): Sep-Oct
Ecoregion: Florida to Canada and west to Texas
Color of Flower:  Yellow
Height: Up to 5 feet
Spread:  Half a foot
Family: Poaceae (Grass Family)
Soil Type: Base to Acidic  Acidic
Soil: Dry to Wet  Variable
Light: Sun to Shade  Sun to Part Shade
Zone 6A-11B