Andropogon gerardii 'New
Wave' - New Wave Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii was the most prevalent of the tall
prairie grasses and it is not surprising that there is a
wide range of colours and heights. Our introduction A. 'New
Wave' was a sport selected from seedlings planted years
ago. Tested over time in both warmer and cooler climates,
it tops out at a blossom height of 6' in zone 7 but much
shorter in zone 4.
It has beautiful dark red stems and dark red tinges on
the foliage. The blooms grow distinctly upright, featuring
a dramatic separation between the leaves and flowers. A.
New Wave has caught the eye of renowned landscape designer
Piet Oudolf and has been included in his list of favourite
plants because of its colour and form.
Description: warm season; sod forming (very slow spreader)
Foliage green tinged with red; narrow blade width; 75-105 cm (30-40")
Flowers August through Sept; 135-165 cm (55-65")
Ideal growing conditions: full sun to part shade;
moist fertile soil; drought tolerant once established; thrives in both
heavy and sandy soils.
Coldest zone: 4, possibly colder (find
your zone; further info on plant hardiness)
Season of interest: summer - autumn
Partner with: Panicum
'Hanse Herms', Pennisetum
orientale, annual red sunflowers, Carex
Recommended spacing between plants: 45-75
cm (18-30") why such a difference?
Drought tolerance rating: 2 (water to root depth once
every 2 weeks); further info
Native to: the species is native to prairies and
open woods of temperate regions of North America (central
Mexico to southern Canada)
Pronunciation: Andropogon (an-droh-POH-gon) gerardii
More ornamental grasses
Compare Andropogon gerardii 'New Wave' to our other grasses
in this handy chart.