Plant of the Week- Sand Bluestem

The Bluestem family covers the entire state, ranging from little bluestem (found in every county), big bluestem (found in wet meadows or farther east in better soils and more rain), or my favorite that lives only in the Sandhills of Nebraska.

Sand bluestem

Sand Bluestem!

Unlike its cousin (Big), Sand Bluestem is a icy, blue/grey colour. (I been reading a lot of Curious George lately and the British spelling is rubbing off on me!) The blue color is actually wax that you can rub off with your finger. The wax keeps the plant from losing water in the hot, hot sun.

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Big bluestem is a deeper, richer green and turns a dark red color in the fall.

Some call it “Turkey Track grass”, as the seedhead looks like a track left by a turkey foot. The seedhead is just starting to “fuzz” out. After frost, the seeds are fluffy and big, like a furry tan cat that licked an electrical socket.

Closeup sand bluestem

For now, the plant is pollinating. I feel sorry for all you out there with allergies. Even the Sand Bluestem is your nemesis!

Sand Bluestem is a vital grass to have on your grazing lands. It is a tall, warm season grass with lots of production in the summer. And what a variety of color for one grass!

Categories: Plant of the Week, Ranching in the Sandhills | Leave a comment

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