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A key plant in American prairies, big bluestem is so named because it has attractive blue-green foliage through the growing season. As summer fades to fall, it takes on golden, red, and purplish hues, complementing the rosy forked seed heads. As you would expect from a native prairie grass, it thrives in poor, dry soils and in full sun.
All types of purple coneflower team well with big bluestem. The dusky-rose daisies of purple coneflower complement the blue-green foliage of bluestem.Joe Pye weed
The late summer purplish blooms of Joe-Pye weed rise above the foliage of big bluestem. Both are tall enough to create a temporary screen, and both work well in prairie plantings.False sunflower
The yellow daisylike blooms of false sunflower are borne on a plant large enough to be in scale with big bluestem. The bluish foliage of bluestem creates a knockout backdrop for the yellow flowers.