Native Plant Trust

Andropogon gerardii 'Red October'

'Red October' big bluestem - PP26283

This tall, hardy warm-season bunchgrass yields silver tufts of seeds in the later summer, which contrast wonderfully with its golden fall foliage. Perfect for winter interest, big bluestem also serves as host to at least eleven native butterflies and moths. Andropogon gerardii 'Red October' was developed in 2009 by Brent Hovarth of Fontana, WI, as a selection resulting from open-pollination of Andropogon gerardii 'Indian Warrior.' 'Red October' is characterized by a strong upright habit and dark green, red-tipped foliage that turns deep red in fall and winter, compared to the wild-type Andropogon gerardii, which has much less red pigmentation.

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Height: 4-6 ft
Spread: 2-3 ft
Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Bloom Color: Red

Characteristics & Attributes

Cultivation Status
Soil Moisture
Not Ecotypic in New England
Ornamental Interest
Winter Interest and/or Evergreen
Fall Foliage
Drought Tolerant
Deer/Rabbit Resistant
Salt Tolerant
Urban Environment
Compaction Tolerant
Additional Attributes
Erosion Control/Soil Stabilization
Low Maintenance
Landscape Use
Meadow garden
Attractive Fall Foliage and/or Ornamental Fruit
Red to Purple Fall Foliage

North American Distribution

Photo by Cheryl Lowe (c) Native Plant Trust
Photo by Cheryl Lowe (c) Native Plant Trust
'Red October' big bluestem - Andropogon gerardii 'Red October' from Native Plant Trust