Chalky bluestem
Andropogon virginicus var. glaucus
Poaceae


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.
Height:
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.
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.


Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton