Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Andropogon gerardii Vitman
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: June-September
- Field Marks: The stalked spikelet of each pair only contains male flowers and has both
glumes well developed. The spikelets are borne in 2-6 purplish, finger-like racemes.
- Habitat: Moist or dry open areas, shores, and a major constituent of prairies.
- Habit: Tufted perennial grass from stout rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, stout, smooth, up to 12 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, ascending, smooth or with soft white hairs, up to 1/2 inch wide.
- Flowers: Borne in 2-6 purplish, spike-like racemes, the racemes up to 6 inches long,
slender, with a ciliate axis.
- Spikelets: In pairs, the stalked one only with male flowers and awnless, the sessile one with
both male and female flowers, the sessile one 1/4-1/2 inch long, bearing a twisted awn on the
lemma 1/3-3/4 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 6.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Grains ellipsoid, smooth.
- Notes: Gleason and Cronquist use Poaceae for this family.
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