This bluestem cultivar is a tall, perennial, warm season grass. It is a great ornamental selection due to its attractive foliage which changes color seasonally, good architectural height and interesting flower/seed heads. Blackhawks’ is an exciting new cultivar grown as a seedling of Andropogon gerardii ‘Red October.’ The upright foliage starts dark green but begins to turn purple in August as nights cool and is black by late September. Flowering stems rise in late summer above the foliage clump bearing purplish 3-parted, finger-like flower clusters which are said to resemble turkey feet (hence the additional common name of turkeyfoot). Flowering stems bring total height of this grass to 4-5′ tall.
[Photo: Andropogon_big bluestem; Credit: cassi saari, CC BY-SA 4.0