- This perennial bunchgrass will sometimes form continuous cover in boggy, open mesic or dry habitats . It releases highly persistent allelopathic substances which inhibit competition . The dead material provides an excellent fuel for fires, and further it is fire-stimulated, increasing cover dramatically with each fire.
Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in English:
Broom Sedge, Broom-Sedge, Broom-Sedge Bluestem, Broomsedge, Broomsedge Bluestem, Whiskey Grass, Whisky Grass, Yellow Bluestem, Yellowsedge Bluestem
Common Names in Portuguese:
. Leaf blades
, not aromatic
; ligule scarious
or reduced to a line
. Inflorescence simple
fragile, usually paired
, occasionally digitate or single, terminal
on the culm
and gathered into a spathate compound panicle; spikelets
of a pair dissimilar; raceme bases not deflexed
, without homogamous
spikelets (present in A. munroi) ; rachis internodes filiform
to linear or clavate
, sometimes inflated
. Sessile spikelet usually dorsally
; callus short, obtuse
, shortly bearded
into internode apex; lower glume
membranous to leathery, 2-keeled, lanceolate, flat to concave
with lateral keels
, these sometimes narrowly winged
, with or without intercarinal veins, or linear with dorsal keels and a deep veinless median
; upper glume awned or awnless; lower floret reduced to a hyaline
lemma; upper lemma hyaline, 2-lobed, awned
, column glabrous
. Stamens 1-3. Pedicelled spikelet variable, large to much reduced, male or barren. x = 10.
About 100 species: tropical and warm-temperate regions of both hemispheres, especially Africa and America; two species in China.
Species Andropogon virginicus
"Perennial tall bunchgrass with tufted stems, 50-100 cm tall, branches 1-3 at node. Leaves: Leaf-sheaths more or less tuberculate-hirsute on the margins with long usually lax hairs ; ligule yellow-brown, membranous, truncate , white-fringed at edge ; blades 40 cm long or less, 2-5 mm wide, rough or roughish, hirsute on the upper surface near the base ; spathes 3-5 cm long, extending beyond the racemes . Racemes: 2 (-3-4), 2-3 cm long. Spikelets : Sessile spikelet 3-4 mm long, twice to half again as long as the internode, the awn straight, 10-15 mm long; pedicellate spikelet wanting or rarely present as a minute scale, pedicel exceeding the sessile spikelet. Flowers: Either sessile and hermaphrodite, or stalked and staminate , sterile or not developed." (Cronk and Fuller, 1995. In PIER , 2003)
Flowers: Bloom Period: July, August. • Flower Color: goldyellow-orange
Size: 36-48" tall.
Subhumid to humid subtropical areas on a wide range of soils, (PIER , 2003). From sea level to 1,600 m in Hawaii, (Smith). Dried material contributes to fire hazard, and reproduction is encouraged by fire, (PIER, 2003). On infertile soils (low in nitrogen or phosphorous), I. virginicus acts as a long-lived competitor, (Uchytil, 1992). Work in Tennesse showed broomsedge to have an average lifespan of 3-5 years and that all plants died within 7 years.
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 2,426 meters (0 to 7,959 feet).
Ecology: This perennial bunchgrass sometimes forms continuous cover in boggy, open mesic and dry habitats . It releases highly persistent allelopathic substances (Rice 1972, In Smith). The dead material provides an excellent fuel for fires. It is fire-stimulated; its cover increases dramatically with each fire (Smith, Parman, and Wampler, 1980, in Smith). In areas where it occurs, both fire intensities and acreage burnt have increased, (Smith). Work in Oklahoma in the US showed no change with a single spring burn , an increase with two spring burns, and that it was drastically reduced with a summer or fall burn when soil conditions were dry. Andropogon virginicus invades forest and other native vegetation, along tracks, (ESC, undated). Nearly pure stands can persist as a result of competition and allelopathy, (Uchytil, 1992).
The seed is well adapted to catch
in wool and fur as well as in clothing
, 2003). May also be spread
on machinery, (PIER, 2003).
Seeds are also dispersed by wind and readily establish on exposed
soil, (Uchytil, 1992). Each flowering culm
may have as many as 50
, and each raceme 8 to 12 spikelets
. Germination is relatively
high after cold stratification
. (Uchytil, 1992)
Flowering begins when plants are 2 or 3 years old, and continues thereafter (Uchytil, 1992).
Culture: Space 36-48" apart.
Soil: Minimum pH: 5.6 • Maximum pH: 6.5
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b. (map)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- (Auct.) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Small, 1903
- Series: href="http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/title/493 ()
- Order: Poales () - Small, 1903
- Superorder: Juncanae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Subclass: Commelinidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Angiospermae () - Auct.
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina () - (Auct.) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Anatherum virginicum (L.) Desv. • Anatherum virginicum (L.) Spreng.
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 17-Oct-2001
Members of the genus Andropogon
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 42 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
A. arctatus (Pinewoods Bluestem) · A. bicornis (Barbas De Indio) · A. bicornis var. paranensis (West Indian Foxtail Grass) · A. binatus (Sabaigrass) · A. brachystachyus (Short-Spike Bluestem) · A. capillipes (Chalky Bluestem) · A. chevalieri (Beardgrass) · A. filipendulus (Hyparrhenia) · A. floridanus (Florida Bluestem) · A. gayanus (Bluestem) · A. gerardi (Big Bluestem) · A. gerardii (Big Bluestem) · A. gerardii var. gerardii (Big Bluestem) · A. gerardii 'Pawnee' (Big Bluestem) · A. glaucopsis (Chalky Bluestem) · A. glomeratus (Broomsedge) · A. glomeratus var. glomeratus (Bushy Bluestem) · A. glomeratus var. hirsutior (Bushy Bluestem) · A. glomeratus var. pumilus (Bushy Bluestem) · A. glomeratus var. scabriglumis (Bushy Bluestem) · A. gracilis (Silky Bluestem) · A. gyrans (Beardgrass) · A. gyrans var. gyrans (Elliott's Bluestem) · A. gyrans var. stenophyllus (Elliotts Bluestem) · A. hallii (Sand Bluestem) · A. leucostachys (Matojillo Bluestem) · A. leucostachyus (Matojillo Bluestem) · A. longiberbis (Hairy Bluestem) · A. mohrii (Mohr Bluestem) · A. propinquus (Sorghum) · A. sorghum (Sorghum) · A. sorghum halepensis (Aleppo Milletgrass) · A. ternarius (Silver Bluestem) · A. ternarius var. cabanisii (Splitbeard Bluestem) · A. ternarius var. ternarius (Splitbeard Bluestem) · A. tracyi (Tracy's Bluestem) · A. virginicus (Broom Sedge) · A. virginicus var. decipiens (Broomsedge) · A. virginicus var. glaucus 'Silver Beauty' (Blue Stem Grass) · A. virginicus var. scabriglumus (Broomsedge Bluestem) · A. virginicus var. virginicus (Broomsedge Bluestem) · A. vulgaris (Broomcorn)
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 14, 2007:
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden
- USDA PLANTS, USDA PLANTS Database
- University of Alabama Biodiversity and Systematics, Herbarium
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2660767
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-182526
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13753908
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:289713-2
- GRIN Nomen Number: 3355
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 40456
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: PMPOA0C0K0
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: ANVIT2 ANV
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 17108
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- Mean = 186.770 meters (612.762 feet), Standard Deviation = 186.130 based on 995 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]