Kenedy Big bluestem is a native, warm season perennial bunchgrass that can reach 10’ in height. This selection is best adapted to loamy, sand, sandy loam, loamy sand soils in the South Texas Sand Sheet, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes and southern portions of the Post Oak Savannah and Blackland Prairie. Big bluestem is a highly preferred livestock forage, although it is intolerant of continuous heavy grazing. It provides excellent wildlife cover. It is useful as a pasture and hay grass, for wildlife cover, for range and prairie restoration, and erosion control. It is adapted to use in well-drained soils such as sandy prairies, in Coastal Live Oak Mottes, and in Coastal Prairies.
Kenedy big bluestem was developed and released by the Texas Native Seeds Program and USDA NRCS South Texas Plant Materials Center from seed collected from remnant Tallgrass Prairies of the Kenedy Sand Prairie in the South Texas Sand Sheet. Typically slow to establish when planted from seed, it is best planted as part of a mix of other locally-adapted native species. Big bluestem is one of the “big 4” grasses of the Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem of North America and was historically much more common in Texas than it is today.
Planting: Plant in early spring at a rate of 7 lbs. pure live seed (PLS) per acre at 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep.
Soil: Sand, Loamy Sand, and Sandy loam soils; also grows well on clay and clay loam soils.
Height: 6-10 feet
Type: Warm Season Perennial
Region: Southern half of Texas