Alphabetical Plant Listing

Andropogon virginicus (Broom Sedge)

Broomsedge, Broomsedge Bluestem, Yellowsedge Bluestem, Whiskey Grass, Popotillo Pajon


Appealing in most seasons, Andropogon virginicus (Broom Sedge) is a warm season perennial grass forming a dense erect tuft of flowering culms. Emerging light to medium green in spring, the foliage of linear, pubescent leaves turns rich orange to coppery-red in the fall. In late summer and fall, pairs of flowering spikes, sometimes concealed beneath sheaths, and often upon slender stems, appear clothed with very soft, white hairs. Broom Sedge is particularly striking in fall or winter with its brilliant coppery foliage and contrasting silvery hairs that catch the sunlight. Broom Sedge grows in a wide variety of open habitats, from grassland and pastureland to open woodland. It grows well on low-fertility soils, especially those on eroded, worn-out fields. Perfect for providing height and color to the garden, Broom Sedge is drought tolerant, requires very little care, is virtually disease and pest free and provides months of interest. This long-lived architectural grass has a variety of uses. It can be used as a filler in prairies and wildflower plantings, and as a backdrop to beds of wildflowers. It is an excellent plant for use in wildlife habitats as well as meadow and prairie restoration projects. It also is an excellent plant for reclaiming disturbed land, such as mining sites and landfills. It provides excellent erosion control on slopes. The dried stalks of Broom Sedge were gathered and made into brooms by the early settlers.

  • Grows up to 2-4 ft. tall (60-120 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). Freely self-seeds when happy.
  • Performs best in full sun in average, dry to moist, well-drained soils. This plant is not fussy about soils and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, including infertile soils and seasonal flooding. Drought tolerant once established.
  • Excellent choice for drought-prone gardens, this architectural grass is perfect for prairie plantings or banks and slopes for erosion control.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • May be cut back in late winter (not during the growing season).
  • Propagate by seed, root division.
  • Andropogon virginicus is an introduced invasive species in California, Hawaii, Japan and Australia.
  • Native from eastern North America to northern South America (Colombia).

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Forest and Kim Starr, Harry Rose, Flickr, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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