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Split Beard

Andropogon ternarius

Silvery-white seed heads impart superb fall and winter color; great in dried bouquets



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Common Names:
Split-beard bluestem
Split-beard beardgrass
Splitbeard broomsedge
Split bluestem
Feather bluestem
Silvery beardgrass
Paintbrush bluestem

Andropogon ternarius, commonly known as Splitbeard or Splitbeard Bluestem, is a native warm season bunch grass. The plants usually begin growing in April and reach a mature height of 2 to 4 feet.  Then, when fully developed, seed heads take on a silvery white appearance lending interest to the fall/winter landscape.


Forage notes

In the spring, cattle will graze the emerging growth. Unsurprisingly, the forage value is similar to that of its relative, little bluestem.


Wildlife notes

In the fall, Birds and small mammals consume the seeds. Also, native bees use the stems for nesting materials or utilize the plant in its entirety as a nest structure.


Landscaping notes

This plant makes a great ornamental. In the fall, the stems turn shades of blue, purple, and red. The attractive silvery racemes are a beautiful addition to fresh or dried floral arrangements.


Restoration notes

 Split beard bluestem is found on upland woodlands and woodland pastures and is commonly associated with little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) on well-drained sandy sites. Andropogon ternarius can be used as a component in longleaf pine habitat restoration.

*Split beard bluestem seed is fluffy which makes it difficult to plant with a conventional drill.


This plant is commonly used in the following mixes:

Companion Grass Mix – Dry, Companion Grass Mix – Mesic 


Videos About Native Plants

To learn more about native plants, check out our videos.

Why Plant Diversity is Good For Livestock by Loren Steele at Hamilton Native Outpost’s Field Day

Additional information

Weight N/A

Full Sun

Seeding Rate

12 PLS lbs/acre


Dry, Average



Bloom Month

Sep, Oct



Specialty Uses


Cattle Palatability


# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.