Andropogon virginicus L.
Broomsedge bluestem, Broom-sedge
Poaceae (Grass Family)
USDA Symbol: ANVI2
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Achene , Caryopsis
Autumn Foliage: yes
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: FL to TX, n. to MA, OH, s. IL, s.e. IA & KS
Native Habitat: Dry fields; thin woods; upper shores of ponds
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Attractive. Grows in clumps
Use Wildlife: Cover, nesting material, seed food for birds. Graze for deer.
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Deer Resistant: No
Value to Beneficial InsectsProvides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)Andropogon virginicus is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Zabulon Skipper |
Learn more at BAMONA
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division
Description: Propagate by seed or division.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
When to plant grasses on Long Island, NY
December 06, 2009
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants; Are there any grass seeds that I can plant NOW, early December, on Long Island, NY? The planting environment is on and near a sandy bluff on a bayshore, where it can be windy ...
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 997 - Requiem for a Lawnmower: Gardening in a Warmer, Drier World, 2nd Edition (2004) Wasowski, Sally and Andy Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Andropogon virginicus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Andropogon virginicus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Andropogon virginicus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-10-24
Research By: TWC Staff