Plant Guide > Grasses > Forked Beard Grass

Forked Beard Grass


Andropogon furcatus Muhl.

Forked Beard-grass blooms by fences and hedges in early autumn. The tall stems, rich in colouring, are surmounted by short, spreading spikes of reddish brown or purple, and by this finger-like inflorescence the grass is easily recognized.

Forked Beard-grass. Big Blue-stem. Andropogon furcatus Muhl.

Perennial.

Stem 3-6 ft. tall, stout, erect. Ligule 1" long or less. Leaves 6'-16' long, 2"-6" wide, roughish.

Spikes 2-5, purplish, 2'-5' long, rather thick and rigid, spreading from summit of culm and lateral branches. Spikelets in pairs on hairy rachis, hairs short; 1 spikelet of each pair sessile, perfect, 1-flowered, 4"-5" long, bearing a loosely twisted, bent awn 5"-8" long; the other spikelet staminate, awnless, consisting of 4 scales. Stamens 3, anthers yellow, orange, or brownish.

Dry or moist soil. August to September.

Maine and Ontario to the Rocky Mountains, south to Florida and Texas.