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Schizachyrium scoparium

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Plant types and subtypes: Grasses, Prairie Grasses, Ornamental Grasses

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, neutral, alkaline, average, poor, clay, sand, gravel/rock

Height: 2'-4'

Bloom Time: June, July, August, September

Bloom Color: yellow, green

Leaf Color: blue-green, gray-green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Additional Tags: attracts birds, clumping, colonizing, dried flowers, drought tolerant, fall interest, mounding, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, rock garden plant, winter interest

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)
  • Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)
  • Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)
  • Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)
  • Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Schizachyrium scoparium

Also known as:

little bluestem

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Little bluestem has been getting a lot of attention from gardeners, and rightfully so as it provides year round visual interest. Plants emerge as the weather warms, and grow into tight clumps of erect, blue-green, fine textured grass, up to a height of 4'. As the weather cools, the grass turns to spectacular shades of orange, red and crimson, and the seed heads develop into showy white tufts. Both the grass, and seed heads, will persist well into winter, and will provide wonderful contrast in areas that receive snow.

Cultivation

Schizachyrium scoparium is very easy to grow, low maintenance, and highly adaptable. The only conditions it will not tolerate are shade and wet soil. It thrives in poor, dry soil in full sun. In a garden, It can be mixed with tall growing perennials as a ground covering filler and weed barrier. These taller perennials will over shadow the little bluestem, keep its height in check. Its neat form makes it a good specimen choice for a rock garden. It is also quite effective in groups or in masse plantings. Cut back old foliage in spring before new growth emerges. Though it will naturalize by seed, it does not do so aggressively, and therefore the spread is easy to control if so desired. A warm season perennial grass that is very cold hardy. Zones 3-10.

Propagation

Easy to propagate by clump division. Can be propagate from seed, but germination rates are low. Seeds do not require treatment or stratification.

Additional Notes

Little bluestem is a multi purpose species that is currently under utilized.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Commelinidae
Order Cyperales
Family Poaceae Grass family
Genus Schizachyrium little bluestem
Species Schizachyrium scoparium little bluestem