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Rhizomatous bluestem
Schizachyrium rhizomatum
Poaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also an accent grass.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

It can be used as one of many understory herbs in pine rocklands.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Medium herbaceous grass.
Dimensions:
About 1-2 feet in height; up to 6 feet in flower. Spreading from underground stems (rhizomes) and forming small patches broader than tall.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Endemic to South Florida from the Monroe County Keys north to Palm Beach, Hendry and Lee counties. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key.
Habitats:
Pinelands and marl prairies.
Soils:
Moist to seasonally wet, well-drained to moderately well-drained limestone or sandy 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:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Red and green inflorescence.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy inflorescence.
Flowering Season:
Summer-fall.
Fruit:
Inconspicuous caryopsis.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed and division.
Comments:
Taxonomy: some authors place this into synonomy under S. scoparium.


 


George D. Gann