Big bluestem is a native grass and one of the main components of the tallgrass prairies that once covered Illinois. It offers interest in the landscape throughout the winter.
This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
- Family (English) Grass
- Family (botanic) Poaceae
- Tree or plant type Grass, Perennial
- Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
- Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
- Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
- Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
- Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought
- Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
- Flower color and fragrance Red, Other
- Shape or form Upright