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More info for the term: warm-season

Big bluestem is a native, tall, erect, perennial, warm-season, usually
rhizomatous, sod-forming grass [47,117].  The flowering stalks are
stout, coarse, and solid, and can reach a height of over 10 feet (3 m)
in a favorable growing season [51].  The inflorescence consists of two
to six digitate racemes (most commonly three, hence one of its common
names "turkey foot") which are 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long [47,117].
Spikelets are in pairs along the raceme axis and are approximately equal
in length (0.25 to 0.4 inch [7-10 mm]) [47,117,131].  One is sessile,
usually fertile, plump, and awned.  The other is pedicillate, sterile,
slender, and awnless [82,131].  Big bluestem stands display a variety of
colors from steel gray to wine red [14].

Rhizomes are generally 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm) below the soil surface
but are common to a depth of 4 inches [3,133].  They are coarse, 0.1 to
0.2 inch (3-6 mm) thick, excessively branched, and are frequently
continuous for 6 to 10 inches (15-24.5 cm) [133].  These rhizomes form
an open network, which is branched by the multiple roots which arise
from them.  On mature plants, roots are coarse, with laterals extending
2 to 6 inches (5-15 cm) [133].  The main roots extend downward almost
vertically to depths of 6 to 10 feet (2-3 m), and taper very gradually
[132,133].  A large percentage of the roots are found in the A horizon
independent of soil type or horizon depth.  Seventy-eight to ninety
percent of root biomass has been found in A horizons ranging from 7 to
20 inches (18-50 cm) [136].

Big bluestem exhibits wide ecotypic variation.  It is generally shorter
at maturity in the northern portion of its range, and taller in the
southern portion of its range [59].  This variation may also be found
within a local area.  Weaver [132] observed flower stalks varying in
height from 3 feet (0.9 m) on moist slopes to 7 to 12 feet (2.1-3.6 m)
on rich bottomland sites.  Throughout the tallgrass and mixed-grass
prairie regions, big bluestem normally is a rhizomatous, sod-forming
grass.  But when found in more arid locations, or on drier slopes, its
appearance is more similar to a bunchgrass [132].



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