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Products > Bothriochloa barbinodis
Bothriochloa barbinodis - Cane Bluestem

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Parentage: (Andropogon barbinodis)
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Bothriochloa barbinodis (Cane Bluestem) - A warm-season deciduous medium-sized clumping grass that can grow to 4 feet tall and wide with pale green foliage and fluffy silvery-white flower heads that appear in summer through early fall. Fall foliage is a blush of reds and oranges and in winter the entire plant takes on a gray-white cast. Not picky about soil conditions, but grows best in a well-draining moist soil in full sun but is quite drought tolerant along the coast. Hardy to below 15 F. It is native to California from San Diego County to Ventura County (at some time maybe into Santa Barbara) where it grows in dry hilly locations. It also can be found across the American Southwest to New Mexico. We first grew this wonderful native grass in 1992 though discontinued growing it a few years later because it was underappreciated. We started growing it again in 2010 because we really like it and at the urging of native plant specialist Carol Bornstein. The name for the genus comes from Greek words 'bothrion' meaning a "furrow" "pit" or "trench" and 'chloa' meaning "a blade of grass" in reference to a distinct groove in the joints and pedicels. The specific epithet combines the Latin words 'barba' meaning "beard" and 'nodus' meaning "joint" for the hairy nodes of this plant. It has previously been treated as Andropogon barbinodis.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Bothriochloa barbinodis.