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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
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Splitbeard Bluestem (Andropogon ternarius)

Splitbeard Bluestem is a perennial, warm-season grass that grows up to 3 feet tall with a 2 foot spread. Summer foliage is blue-green turning copper, red, and bronze in the fall. From late summer through fall, fluffy, silver seed heads catch the sun.


Provides excellent cover year round. Host plant for Common Wood-Nymph and various skipper species of butterfly. Seeds eaten by songbirds and small mammals.

Plant Type Grass
Leaf Type Deciduous
Deer Resistance High
Regions Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Light Full Sun
Soil Dry
Bloom Times Fall
Seed Times Fall, Winter
Wildlife Value Winter Cover, Seed or Nut, Butterfly Larvae Host
NC Forest ServiceNC Cooperative Extension