On June 11 2007 Missouri State governor Matt Blunt signed an official legislation naming Big Bluestem the official grass of Missouri State in a ceremony held at a Rolla elementary school.
While this particular grass is often labelled a weed and an invasive type of grass, it is reported to have some very beneficial attributes. The US Department of Agriculture’s website mentions that helping control erosion, providing a place for birds and other animals to nest, and proving to be a good source of food for grazing livestock being among the positive attributes of the Big Bluestem grass.
The move to officially name Big Bluestem, or Andropogon gerardii, as it is scientifically named, stems from R-Rolla Representative Robert May, who had been pushing to make Big Bluestem the official Missouri state grass since he first overheard a group of fourth grade students studying the topic in a conversation class in 2003.
To go along with this new official naming, there are also bills awaiting signatures to officially name the bobwhite quail as the states official game bird, the crayfish as the states official invertebrate and the three toed box turtle as the states official reptile.