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Splitbeard bluestem
Andropogon ternarius
Poaceae
 

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

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

Ecological Restoration Notes: A relatively common understory grass in pinelands nearly throughout South Florida.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

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: Moderate.

Range: Eastern and central United States south to the Monroe County Keys. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key where last collected in 1965.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes north to Indian River and Manatee counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Pinelands, scrub and prairies.

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

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

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

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

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

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: 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 and division.

Comments: Attractive bluish-red leaves. Usually best cut back after flowering. Does not spread as aggresively as other Andropogon species.


Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: George D. Gann


Other data on Andropogon ternarius available from:



 
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