Broomsedge, Andropogon virginicus
Poaceae or Grass Family


A medium-sized, clump-forming grass. Usually unnoticed until it matures to a clump resembling an old-fashioned broom. Leaves long, grass-like, distinctly folded down the middle ("keeled"), somewhat hair near the base. Upper half of stem is an inconspicuous spike of flowers which are scarcely noticed until the fruiting spikelets open up in late summer to early fall to release seeds covered with down. In the winter the remains of the spike and the leaves turn a rich golden brown, and it is often more noticeable then. At this time it looks even more like an old fashioned broom, and in earlier times, it was gathered to make brooms.

A native grass, charming in fruit and lovely in winter. Like most grasses it likes open spaces, and so can be a pesty weed. In Wildwood it is common in the Great South Meadow.

In fruit and in winter it is fairly distinctive. In spring and summer it is unlikely to be noticed.

Fruiting spike

Closeup of leaves 

Closeup of spike
Population in winter


Plant in winter

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