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Rhizomatous bluestem
Schizachyrium rhizomatum

Copyright by: George D. Gann

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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

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.

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Other data on Schizachyrium rhizomatum available from:

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