Flowers in sessile spikelets are aggregated toward the upper part of the 2-5 ft. stems and are striking in fall and winter when the fine hairs of the bold, feathery racemes catch the sunlight. The sheaths surrounding the racemes take on a salmon-orange color in fall.
Big bluestem is used in wildflower meadows and prairie plantings. It is also effective as a rear border or accent in native plant gardens.
Found in moist or semi-moist soils in full sun, Bushy Bluestem's fluffy flower heads resemble chunks of silvery cotton candy, catching the light and glowing above blue-green summer foliage and coppery winter foliage. It can be a luxurious addition to your fall flower display and is ideal for wetland gardens. In the wild, it grows in sunny, low-lying grasslands and roadside ditches.