Scientific Name: Andropogon gerardii
Other Common Names: Turkey-foot, turkey claw, beard grass, king of the prairie
Characteristics: This warm season (C4) grass was once the chief grass of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. It is known to grow in dense clumps, which allows it to keep other plants from getting any sunlight and growing. Its leaves are a great source of nutrition for cattle, and is used today as a commercial hay and forage plant. Big Bluestem can reach heights of up to ten feet, flowering between July and September. The seed heads, which look like turkey feet, give rise to its alternative common names of turkey-foot and turkey claw.