Silver bluestem is a native, warm season perennial bunchgrass that grows 3-5’ in height. It is one of the most common native bunchgrasses throughout Texas, and is found in every ecological region of the state. Plants are highly variable in size, color, and growth habit. Silver bluestem grows best on heavy-textured soils, and it is generally not well adapted to sandy sites. It is fair-good forage and known for its resilience in the presence of exotic grasses. It is often one of the only native grasses that persist in heavy stands of Old World bluestems. Silver bluestem can provide good cover for wildlife. It is used in range seed mixes and for right-of-way revegetation.
Silver bluestem is an important colonizing grass species for degraded sites and over-grazed rangelands. Two varieties of the plant have been developed for conservation uses, including Santiago Silver bluestem for western portion of the state, and Starr Longspike Silver bluestem for south and coastal Texas. Wild harvests of the plant are also available from time to time.
Planting: Plant in the spring at a rate of 2-3 lbs. pure live seed (PLS) per acre.
Soil: Grows in a variety of soils.
Height: 2-3 feet
Type: Warm Season Perennial
For more information: Silver bluestem Plant Fact Sheet from USDA NRCS