Andropogon ternarius

Departments - Green Guide

Split-beard bluestem combines cottony seed heads with marvelous fall stem color.

December 5, 2016

Photos courtesy of Hoffman Nursery

If you’re looking for a combination of brawn and beauty, you need to add Andropogon ternarius to your list of must-have plants. In the spring and summer, stems are blue-green, and in the fall turn into a kaleidoscope of blues, purples and reds. The cottony seed heads dance in the slightest breeze.

It may have a demure appearance, but this tough plant thrives in sunny, dry locations, and performs well in several different soil types including infertile, sandy, and clay. It can take the intense sun in southern regions and is drought tolerant once established. This perennial grass offers multiple selling points for growers, retailers and landscape professionals.

Why grow Andropogon ternarius?

  • Thrives in nearly any soil type
  • Drought tolerant once established
  • Multiseason interest with beautiful fall color
  • Provides food and protection for wildlife