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Chalky bluestem
Andropogon virginicus var. glaucus
Poaceae
 

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also provides a good base for wildflower gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes: An occasional understory grass in a wide variety of pinelands. Rarer in the southern part of peninsular South Florida in marl prairies.

Availability: Grown by a few native plant nurseries in south and central Florida.

Description: Medium to large herbaceous grass.

Dimensions: Typically 2-4 feet in height; to 6 feet when in flower. A clumping grass about as broad as tall except when flowering.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Southern and eastern United States south to Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland, but very rare at the end of its range in the southernmost Florida counties.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pinelands and scrub.

Soils: Moist to dry, well-drained sandy soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Light brown inflorescence.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy inflorescence.

Flowering Season: Summer-fall.

Fruit: Inconspicuous caryopsis.

Wildlife and Ecology: Possible larval host plant for Delaware skipper (Anatrytone logan), Georgia satyr (Neonympha areolata), neamathla skipper (Nastra neamathla), swarthy skipper (Nastra lherminier) and twin-spot skipper (Oligoria maculata) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: Attractive bluish-white leaves. Usually best cut back after flowering. Spreads from seed in the garden and can become weedy.


Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton


Other data on Andropogon virginicus var. glaucus available from:



 
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