SILVER BLUESTEM
File Size: 175 KB
 
Bothriochloa laguroides   (DC. ) Herter  subsp. torreyana  (Steud. ) Allred & Gould
[=Andropogon saccharoides Sw.  var. torreyanus  (Steud. ) Hack.]
[=Bothriochloa saccharoides   (Sw. ) Rydb.  var. torreyanus  (Steud. ) Gould]
Ottawa County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 18 - 42 inches
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Culms: Erect or ascending, solid, often branching below, grooved on 1 side; often short, nodes with flattened hairs.
Blades: Flat or folded, 1 to 10 inches long, to 1/4 inch wide, waxy, glabrous or thinly hairy at collar, midrib prominent; margins brownish to whitish; tips taper to points.
Sheaths: Shorter than internodes, smooth, slightly keeled near collar.
Ligules: Membranous, margins notched to entire.
Inflorescences: Panicles, 2.5 to 6 inches long, broader near middle or base, plume-like, silky, silvery-white; branches 6 or more, each 1 to 1.5 inch long.
Spikelets: Paired, lower spikelet sessile and perfect, upper spikelet stalked and sterile; first glume silky hairy at base; fertile lemmas with awns 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, bent.
Habitat: Dry prairies, roadsides, waste areas, and rocky slopes, particularly on sandy and limestone sites.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Forage Value: Fair for livestock and wildlife but is usually only grazed when young.
Uses: The Kiowa used the stems for toothpicks.
Comments: Tufted. Silver bluestem spreads quickly in disturbed or overgrazed areas.

Silver bluestem
177 KB
Ottawa County, Kansas
Silver bluestem inflorescence
87 KB
Ottawa County, Kansas
Silver bluestem
188 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Silver bluestem
197 KB
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas