Broomsedge bluestem

Andropogon virginicus


Photo credit: ©Forest Starr & Kim Starr
Andropogon virginicus
Common name
  • Broomsedge bluestem
  • Yellowsedge bluestem
  • Whiskey grass
  • Beard grass
  • Deceptive bluestem

  • Broomsedge bluestem is a perennial grass, growing to 2m tall. It often grow in small clumps.
  • Its has long green leaves. Its inflorescence usually comprise of 2-5 rames up to 3cm long.

Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • This species has a broad native range in the Americas. It has been introduced elsewhere in the world.
  • It has been introduced to France and Russia Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Georgia, Japan and South Korea.

Potential or Known Impacts:
  • This species is an aggressive coloniser of disturbed soils, and invades pastureland.
  • It can outcompete native species by preventing their germination, and is fire tolerant, leading it to become well-established after fires.
  • It can cause erosion if large areas die off during cooler months.

How could it get here?
  • It could be introduced via natural means, like dispersal on animal fur and on the wind due to the seeds having small spikes, facilitating hooking onto fur, feathers and clothes.
  • It has also been introduced accidentally via packing material around alcohol bottles and around NATO ammunition.
  • It may also be spread by movement of harvested agricultural crops and harvested timber.

Is it found in Northern Ireland?
  • It is not present in Northern Ireland.

Methods for Prevention:
  • EU-level action includes a ban on sales and any planting or keeping, including in aquaria, as well as rapid eradication of any new populations to avoid the excessively high costs associated with its management later on.
  • Report sightings.
  • Know what you grow.
  • Don't swap cuttings, seeds or seedlings with other people.
  • Don't take cuttings from the wild.

You can help by reporting any sightings: @ the Centre for Environmental Data & Recording (CEDaR) - Or via the iRecord App.
Current Legislative Position (Listed on 14 August 2019)
  • This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment.
For further queries, you can contact the Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558 or Email:  
Invasive Species Northern Ireland

Invasive Species Northern Ireland