Andropogon gerardii 'Bison' - Big Bluestem, Turkey Foot

This is a tall, narrow-leaved, non-floppy Big bluestem. The added feature is the early blooms - two to three weeks earlier than any other Andropogon. A. 'Bison' is a great border plant... a quiet vertical accent while not crowding out the other plants.

Description: warm season; sod forming (very slow spreader)
Foliage - green; narrow blade width; 120-150 cm (48-60") tall
Flowers - late July - August; 135-165 cm (55-65")

Ideal growing conditions: full sun to part shade; moist fertile soil; drought tolerant once established; thrives in both heavy and sandy soils

Coldest zone: 4, possibly colder (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Season of interest: mid summer - autumn

Partner with: Coreopsis tripteris, Persicaria polymorpha, Inula 'Sonnenspeer', Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster', Panicum 'Sunburst', Sorghastrum

Recommended spacing between plants: 50-80 cm (20-32") why such a difference?

Drought tolerance rating: 2 (water to root depth once every 2 weeks); further info

Native to: prairies and open woods of temperate regions of North America (central Mexico to southern Canada). Please note that even though the map shows it as being found in many provinces of Canada, it does not mean that it is found in the entire province, rather this map indicates that it has been found growing in the provinces indicated, most likely only the southern part.

Pronunciation: Andropogon (an-droh-POH-gon) gerardii (jer-AR-dee-eye)


More ornamental grasses

Compare Andropogon gerardii 'Bison' to our other grasses in this handy chart.


from the USDA website: states and provinces where
Andropogon gerardii is native