Big Blue Stem, Andropogon gerardii
Growing to be over 6 feet tall, Big Blue Stem (Andropogon gerardii) is one of the dominant grass species in the Arboretum prairies. The plant belongs to the Grass family (Poaceae) and is sometimes called “turkey’s foot” because its seed heads resemble a turkey’s toes. Big Blue Stem can be identified by its 3- to 5-pronged seeds heads and the blue or purple nodes found on this plant’s stem. This species is a warm season grass that grows quickly in hot weather and typically begins flowering in early August.