Andropogon gerardii 'Blackhawks' (Big Bluestem)
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Andropogon gerardii 'Blackhawks' is a cultivar of Andropogon gerardii, also called big bluestem, an upright, perennial prairie grass native to most areas of the United States.The 'Blackhawks' cultivar is noted for its colorful foliage, which emerges dark green in the spring, but begins to turn purple in late summer and eventually nearly black by the early fall.
Big bluestem generally prefers full sun and well-drained soil, but it can thrive in a variety of soils and conditions, and can grow to four to five feet tall, with flowers occasionally adding up to three extra feet. Airy purplish flowers appear in late summer before turning to persistent seed heads, which last through the winter and provide a food source for migrating and overwintering birds. An equally excellent choice for sunny, drought-prone gardens or for erosion management projects, 'Blackhawks' is a colorful cultivar with excellent ecological benefits.