BROOMSEDGE BLUESTEM
File Size: 280 KB
 
Andropogon virginicus  Nieuw.
Ottawa County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 20-48 inches
Family: Poaceae – Grass Family
Flowering Period:   September,October
Culms: Usually in small tufts, erect, slender, grooved on one side, branching in upper 2/3.
Blades: Basal and cauline, linear, flat or folded, 4 to 18 inches long, .06 to .2 inch wide, conspicuous midrib, margins slightly rough, upper surface sparsely pilose near base.
Sheaths: Shorter than internode, glabrous to sparsely pilose along margins, lower sheaths keeled, upper sheath usually longer than the inflorescence; internodes villous.
Ligules: Short ciliate membrane
Inflorescences: Narrow, elongated, panicles, 6-40 per culm, each with 2-5 racemes; racemes .8 to 1.2 inch long, partially enclosed by sheathing bract; rachis slender, flexuous, long-villous.
Spikelets: Borne in pairs at each node, one spikelet sessile and fertile and one spikelet pedicellate and not fully developed; sessile spikelets narrow; glumes nearly equal, .12 to .16 inch long, keeled; first lemma empty, hyaline; fertile lemma membranous or hyaline; awn .4 to .8 inch long, straight, twisted proximally.
Habitat: Open sandy or rocky soils of prairies, pastures, roadsides, and waste areas.
Distribution: East 1/2 of Kansas
Origin: Native
Forage Value: Some early forage value but nutritional quality and palatability decreases with maturity.
Uses: Broomsedge bluestem provides wildlife cover.
Comments: Broomsedge bluestem is somewhat weedy. The autumn foliage has a distinct orangish color.

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