Natural Shore Technologies
Using ecology to restore land and water
Big bluestem is a dominant warm season grass in the tallgrass prairies of the Midwest. Its robust root system can reach depths up to 10 feet underground, making it excellent at erosion control on shorelines, stream banks, and steep landscapes. It provides color interest all year – the leaves start out gray-green to blue-green in the spring, changing to reddish tinges in the summer, and finally ending with rich bronze and coppery colors in the fall to provide striking contrast against the winter snow. The flower stalk has 3-parted spikelets that are purplish in color and look like a “turkey foot,” another common name of the grass. Big bluestem is a host plant for the skipper butterfly and provides shelter for birds and insects.
full sun to partial sun
2 – 6 ft.
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