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(PPAF) = Propagation of this plant prohibited without a license.

Hardiness Zone Map


Andropogon

This large cosmopolitan genus gleans its name from the Greek word pogon, or beard, alluding to the lustrous hairs that blanket the inflorescences. Closely associated with Schizachyrium, 13 clump-forming warm season Andropogon hail from North America. Many of the garden-worthy Beardgrass are often drought tolerant, and generally characterized by attractive, easily grown sturdy demeanors, late summer blooms plus prismatic autumn color.

<i>Andropogon gerardii</i>

Historically renowned as the sod our ancestors broke their backs busting, Big Bluestem is the most widespread of all the prairie grasses. Its regal and wild color show makes it a must in our garden. Growing to great size, the stand’s lush, blue-blushed summer greenery becomes a burgundy and copper glory at first frost. Soaring three-pronged red seed heads beg its other common name, Turkeyfoot.

Reliable, heat tolerant and sturdy, Andropogon gerardii thrives in poorly drained clay to dry sandy soils, and easily transitions the outskirts of your garden into the wild meadow beyond.

Blooms late August–October

Size: 5' 0" – 8' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Andropogon gerardii</i> ‘Lord Snowden’s Big Blue’

Spotted near Crowley, TX by John Snowden, acclaimed grass expert and Bluestem Nursery founder, this American native’s unwavering fortitude belies its graceful lush-looking silhouette. Thick, straight bluish mauve-hued stalks supporting narrow, 3-pronged rubescent inflorescences emerge from large, upright ¼ in. wide powder-blue blades, which broadcast reddish purple, dusky-pink, tangerine and copper tones in September. A carefree color-rich candidate for dry sunny locales, ‘Lord Snowden’ can be massed or planted as a specimen, and associated with Astrantia ‘White Giant’ and Gaura ‘So White’.

Blooms August–November

Size: 5' 0" – 7' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

‘Rain Dance’s calling card is the medley of red, maroon and scarlet hues radiating from its versatile workhorse persona. Burgundy-tipped deep green leaves unleash numerous rubescent stems topped with upright, prismatic reddish purple bloom spikes plus scarlet pollen sacs. Favored by songbirds, flower arrangers and plant aficionados, the long-lasting inflorescences sashay above a stalwart, loosely arranged clump that turns completely red when cooler weather arrives, and in tandem they bestow a gorgeous richly hued fall display. (pp#26,284)

 

Blooms August–October

Size: 5' 0" – 6' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

<i>Andropogon gerardii</i> ‘Red October’

This recent Intrinsic Perennial Garden introduction is quickly earning kudos for its spectacular shades of red and long-lived amenable character. August brings cardinal-red accents to lush dark green blades that define a substantial straight-up clump, while unique 3-branched inflorescences with bright red pollen sacs roost above. Boasting fiery scarlet-red and purple hues by the first frost, aptly named ‘Red October’ furnishes welcome cover for nesting birds and makes a galvanizing addition to a mixed planting, meadow garden or naturalized space.  (PPAF)

Blooms July–October

Size: 5' 0" – 6' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

A more refined, compact form of the variable southeastern native, this winning, tough-as-nails cultivar was recently selected by North Carolina Arboretum Curator Terry Dalton. Initially spotted at his fifth-generation farm near Black Mountain, N.C., its upright, glaucous blue-green base looks similar to both Andropogon virginicus and Schizachyrium scoparium, though its pearlescent floral display is singular. Green flowering stalks develop maroon hues and slim stems, which jut out, affording bird-friendly, tuft-like spikelets with sparkling silvery white hairs plus a wondrous glimmering halo. Ideal for a well-drained, midborder position, Split Bluestem’s tidy, low growing habit hosts purple, copper and red fall leaves and tackles drought, but sulks in overly wet soil.

Blooms mid-August–October

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 15" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

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Acclaimed stars of the late season garden……

ornamental grasses have a lot of merit, presenting superb versatility and easy-care temperaments plus welcome deer resistance. Equally at ease in either formal or informal settings, they make stellar additions to meadows, naturalized gardens and mixed borders, where they can serve as groundcovers, stand-alone specimens or large-scale sweeps. Ornamental grasses are best positioned so their glimmering inflorescences are backlit by the afternoon sun. Imbued with honey, oatmeal, silver and sable hues to smoky rose and violet shades, the graceful blooms lend a mesmerizing kinetic aspect on breezy days. Aside from sprucing up fresh or dried arrangements with long-lasting loft and textural intrigue, many flowers and seed heads supply much-needed nourishment and nesting materials for birds and other wildlife. Striking color, especially in autumn, can be found among the blade-like foliage of Andropogon, Panicum and Schizachyrium, which splash purple, fiery red and tangerine accents, while some Molinia radiate bright buttery yellows. Please be sure to browse our extensive online selections of ornamental grasses. We hope a handful of our grasses will beckon you to dig them into your own garden.

All of us plant and paper wranglers wish you good health and happy digging!  

 

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