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.
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.
Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 15" – 18" wide.
Hardy to zone 6.
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