Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Andropogon virginicus

Broomsedge, Broomsedge bluestem, Yellowsedge bluestem, Whiskey grass, Popotillo pajon

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Andropogon virginicus (Broomsedge)
Fannon, Carolyn
The seeds of Broom-sedge are evenly distributed along the 2-5 ft. stems and are striking in fall and winter when the fine hairs of the expanded racemes catch the sunlight. The clump-forming, perennial grass turns a tawny brown in fall.

Unlike its relatives, Big and Little Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii and Schizachyrium scoparium), Broom-sedge can be an invader on disturbed lands, where it helps to control erosion. It is the primary native meadow grass in the northeast, where it should form the linchpin of any prairie restoration.

Image Gallery:

7 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Fruit Type: Achene , Caryopsis
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AL , AR , CA , CT , DE , FL , GA , HI , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , MD , MA , MI , MS , MO , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV , DC
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: FL to TX, n. to MA, OH, ON, s. IL, s.e. IA, & KS, south through the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America to western South America
Native Habitat: Dry fields; thin woods; upper shores of ponds

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, sandy soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam
Conditions Comments: Unlike its relatives, big and little bluestem, broom sedge can be an invader on disturbed lands.


Use Ornamental: Attractive. Grows in clumps
Use Wildlife: Cover, nesting material, seed food for birds. Graze for deer.
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Deer Resistant: No

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Andropogon virginicus is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Zabulon Skipper
(Poanes zabulon)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2015-12-15