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Pawnee Bluestem

Andropogon gerardii 'Pawnee'

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Pawnee Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii 'Pawnee') at Blumen Gardens

Pawnee Bluestem

Pawnee Bluestem

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  30 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Big Bluestem, Turkey Foot


This extraordinary selection of native prairie grass will reach five to six feet tall with bluish-purple stems; purplish-red flowers appear in groups of three in late summer; plant in full sun for best color

Ornamental Features

Pawnee Bluestem features airy plumes of purple flowers with red overtones held atop the stems in late summer. Its attractive grassy leaves are green in color with showy purple variegation and tinges of blue. The foliage often turns purple in fall. The coppery-bronze seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from late summer to mid fall. The purple stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Pawnee Bluestem is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Pawnee Bluestem is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Vertical Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Pawnee Bluestem will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Articulation  Massing  Garden 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features

(815) 895-3737

403 Edward St, Sycarmore, IL 60178