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Catalogue > Native Seed > Native Prairie Grasses > Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) 8000

Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) 8000

$10.50

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The "King" of native grasses and the most prevalent and widely distributed as it is found in all types of prairie grass habitats. Big Bluestem is a perennial, warm season bunchgrass growing 1 to 2 m (3-6') tall. it grows in a wide range of soil conditions from wet, to poorly drained to hot, dry and open sand. In late August it produces interesting 3-branched flower heads, resembling turkey's feet. Lush bluegreen stems turn reddish-brown in fall. While Big Bluestem is a bunchgrass that grows thicker through side sprouting of the crown, it also produces rhizomes (which are modified stems that grow underground) that in turn produce new plants. Rhizomes tend to be 5-7.5 cm (2-3") deep while the true roots of Big Bluestem can grow up to 3 m (10') deep! Hardy to Zone 4. 550 seed/gram

 

  • 125g $10.50


 

 

 

Item
* Quantity:
8000
Native grasses do best when planted in the fall, between Oct. 15th and Nov. 15th. Late fall sowings additionally stratify any seed that may be dormant. An early spring sowing in April will work but often not as effectively. If ideal growing conditions are unavailable, the seed may go dormant and not germinate until the spring of the following year.

Managing Native Grasses and Wildflowers

Many native plants will not bloom until the second year of growth when grown from seed. Avoid the use of supplemental fertilizer as this encourages weeds at the expense of the native plants. During the establishment year, native species plantings should be watered when dictated by the weather. The following year’s growth adapts easily to local climate and soil conditions needing only what nature provides. Mow to 20 cm (8") height at least once through the first year of growth should aggressive weeds threaten to take over and again after the fall frosts have reduced annual foliage. Consider a controlled burn of prairie species where municipal laws permit. The encroachment of woody or non-prairie vegetation is curtailed by fire allowing the prairie community to thrive.
High Summer
Perennial
Direct Sow in Spring However Direct Sow in Fall is Preferred
14 to 28
Full Sun
Grass or Grass-like
Tall (1 to 2 m)(39" to 78")
Winter Hardy
Easy
Native of Canada
Poaceae
Andropogon gerardii
Native habitat establishment, rejuvenation or reclamation projects..
Wildlife food and cover.
Ornamental uses.
Biomass.
Forage and hay crop.
Many native plants produce seed that is viable but dormant. This means that while the seed has all the internal structures and nutrients required to germinate, the seed coat is so hard, water cannot pass through it and initiate germination. When seed is in this state, it is known as being dormant. Seed dormancy is a naturally selected for trait that protects the seed of many plants allowing them to safely overwinter and then be ready to sprout in more favourable conditions in spring.
The remedy to naturally breaking seed dormancy is typically the passing of time. In particular, seed overwintering outside and experiencing the natural freeze thaw cycles that occur in late fall, winter and early spring. To artificially break seed dormancy, sow the seed in a soil-less mix, water than chill in a refrigerator for a set period of time. This dormancy breaking process is called stratification.
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