Broomsedge Bluestem (Andropogon virginicus)

Broomsedge Bluestem 1

Other common names for this plant is Yellowsedge Bluestem, Virginia Bluestem, and Whiskey Grass.

The bloom time for Broomsedge is September to February with a purplish red bloom.  It like full sun and low water requirements.   The plant provides cover for nesting birds such as quail and turkey.  It is a warm season perennial that grows as bunch grass 2 to 4 feet tall.  Large amounts of this can be found growing in the adjacent meadow at the Cherokee Garden located in the Green Meadows Preserve in Cobb County, Georgia.

broomsedge Bluestem 2

The Cherokee used this plant in several different ways.   They made an infusion to treat loose bowels.  Remember, an infusion is when plants are soaked in water until their chemicals are released and then the liquid is used as a medicine.    They also made an infusion to treat frost bite, sores and as a treatment for itchy skin.

Broomsedge also had ceremonial uses.   It was used in a formulary to make Green Corn medicine.   The Green Corn Ceremonies brought cleansing and a new start.   Additionally Broomsedge was used along with onion peels to make a yellow dye.

Broomsedge Bluestem 3

The stalks were gathered and bound to make brooms hence the name Broomsedge.    Although today it is considered a weed,  I would recommend using it in a wildlife and wildflower meadow-it adds great winter interest when so many other plants are dormant and have disappeared.

 

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