Andropogon gerardii 'New Wave' - New Wave Big Bluestem

Andropogon gerardii was the most prevalent of the tall prairie grasses and it is not surprising that there is a wide range of colours and heights. Our introduction A. 'New Wave' was a sport selected from seedlings planted years ago. Tested over time in both warmer and cooler climates, it tops out at a blossom height of 6' in zone 7 but much shorter in zone 4.

It has beautiful dark red stems and dark red tinges on the foliage. The blooms grow distinctly upright, featuring a dramatic separation between the leaves and flowers. A. New Wave has caught the eye of renowned landscape designer Piet Oudolf and has been included in his list of favourite plants because of its colour and form.

Description: warm season; sod forming (very slow spreader)
Foliage green tinged with red; narrow blade width; 75-105 cm (30-40") tall
Flowers August through Sept; 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: summer - autumn

Partner with: Panicum 'Hanse Herms', Pennisetum orientale, annual red sunflowers, Carex flagellifera

Recommended spacing between plants: 45-75 cm (18-30") why such a difference?

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

Native to: the species is native to prairies and open woods of temperate regions of North America (central Mexico to southern Canada)

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


More ornamental grasses

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


Andropogon gerardii 'New Wave' - Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii 'New Wave' - Big Bluestem