Please scroll to the bottom for more images.
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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

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:



 
Resources Links:
Acknowledgements and past sponsors
Find Native Plants!
Become a sponsor!
 
 
Additional Sponsors: