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Common Name: Old World Bluestem

Other Names: Yellow Bluestem, Plains Bluestem, King Ranch Bluestem

Species Name: Bothriochloa ischaemum

Plant Type: Grasses & Grass-like

Family Name: Poaceae, Grass Family

Tribe: Andropogoneae, Bluestem Tribe




Plant Facts  
Origin Asia
Duration Perennial
Season Warm
Distribution in the U.S. Southern-central states
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Entire plant is light green or golden-yellow
    • Stem sections alternate at angles left and right at each node


    • Seed heads with 4-12 branches all attached at the tip of the stem
    • Seed heads are fuzzy
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Plant Height: 40-90 centimeters
    • Ligule Type: Ciliate membrane
    • Sheath: Glabrous or Villous
    • Leaves: Cauline
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Inflorescence Type: Rames
    • Florets Per Spikelet: 2
    • Glumes: Equal


Soil Type Well-drained sandy, loamy and clay soils
Habitat Prairies, shrublands, and other native plant communities
Successional Stage Early, but invades all stages


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