USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Prairie Wildflowers and Grasses of North Dakota

Grass (Native Species)

Chris Grondahl photo: Big bluestem (inset shows head of grass)
Chris Grondahl
  Big bluestem
(Andropogon gerardii)

Distribution: statewide
Habitat: lowlands, tallgrass prairies
Description: Warm season, perennial. Each stalk produces one or more, 3 to 6 fingered "turkey foot" spikes approximately 1½ to 4 inches long. The plant is green throughout the summer and turns rusty red with maturity.
Height: 3-7 feet
Other names: Turkeyfoot
Plant uses and other interesting facts: Typifies the tall grass prairie. Omaha-Ponca Indians would use big bluestem to support earthen roofs.

Return to Grasses
Next Grass -- Little bluestem

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 06:34:28 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww54]