Broom sedge (Andropogon virginicus) is a native warm-season grass, growing from 18 inches to 3 feet tall. Broom sedge ranges from Southern New England to Illinois, south to Texas and Florida and is most common in dry, infertile soils, especially on exposed rocky knobs and slopes. It is tolerant of high heat and humidity, as well as crippling drought - Broom sedge will grow where a lot of other grasses won't. Broom Sedge is often found in disturbed habitats as well, especially abandoned pastures with a lot of gravel or clay in the soil.
Broom sedge is very attractive in form - The clumps are very narrow, often only 6-8 inches for the first year, and the stems are strongly upright and wiry, lasting all winter. In wild areas, the dried foliage even stands through the next growing season unless it has been mowed or burned off. The fall and winter color gives some interest in the dormant season, making it a very garden-worthy plant.
Despite its rugged disposition and typical habitat, broom sedge does make a nice garden plant. It is especially useful in naturalistic plantings, where it forms stoutly upright clumps, very narrow as well. It can be found both in very dry and wet, boggy locations - broom sedge is an excellent plant for the soggy soil at the edge of ponds.
Broom sedge offers good fall color, typically a burnt orange, and it holds its color through the winter. On dryer sites, Broom Sedge can be mixed with Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) to good effect; the Little Bluestem is typically more arching while the broom sedge is very upright in form.
Ecologically, Broom sedge is important for stabilizing the soil on recently burned sites. It yields protection for birds and small animals to reclaim the sites, and the new blades offer forage for animals.
With its preference of poor, disturbed sites, Broom Sedge is an excellent grass to include in difficult areas. For establishing naturalistic gardens on newly built sites where there's been a lot of earthwork, broom sedge is often the only plant that will grow reliably at first. As the soil is enriched with organic matter, it usually fades out due to competition, but it is an excellent pioneer grass to get the rehabilitation process underway.
Plant Broom Sedge in average to poor garden soils, and water in for the first two weeks. Broom sedge is very drought tolerant, establishing quickly. Our root-pruned plugs will establish within 1 month of planting, and will usually bloom the first year.
|Common Name:||Broom Sedge|
|Botanical Name:||Andropogon virginicus|
|Availability:||Available May 2020|
|USDA Hardiness Zones:||5-8|
|Flower Color:||Green (Grass)|
|Bloom Time:||Late August - Early September|
|Habit:||Narrow Upright Clump|
|Light Exposure:||Full Sun to Part Shade; Glades & Outcrops|
|Soil Moisture:||Wet to Dry|
|Soil Texture:||Heavy Clay to Sand and Gravel|
|Soil PH:||Strongly Acidic to Neutral|
|Landscape Uses:||Ornamental Grass on Poor Sites, Mass Planting, Restoration Plantings|
|Benefits:||Good Form, Fall Color, Drought Resistant|
|Ecological Function:||Pioneer Plant, Larval Food Source, Seed, Forage, Nest Material|
Healthy plants arrived very well packaged and undamaged.
Plants arrived packed well and in good condition. Received in a plantable biodegradable bag making it easy planting.