Little bluestem

Schizachyrium scoparium

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
skiz-ah-KEER-ee-um sko-PAR-ee-um
Synonyms:  Andropogon scoparium
Genus:  Schizachryium

Little bluestem is a tidy, finely textured clumping grass with a blue-green summer color. Its silvery seed heads rise to a height of nearly 2 feet in late summer and are at their best when backlit in the morning or afternoon sun. In fall, the grass turns a rosy rust color that lasts all winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics: 

This prairie grass occupies a wide range in North America. It is an excellent choice for native, wild, or meadow plantings, as well as for adding structure and texture to borders and formal situations. It has given rise to a number of showier cultivars.

Care: 

It is widely adaptable to most soils, except for wet or highly fertile ones. Grow in full sun. Trim close to the ground in spring; it is late to emerge.

Propagation: 

Sow seed in fall or early winter; divide in spring.

Problems: 

Infrequent.

Overview

Height
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun Only
Moisture
Dry to Medium
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Attracts Butterflies,
Attracts Song Birds,
Native,
Self Seeds,
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage,
Showy Seed Heads
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
Hazelnut,
White
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Ground Covers,
Roadside,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Style
Meadow Garden
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Tolerance
Deer Tolerant,
Drought Tolerant,
Frost Tolerant
Type
Grasses

Schizachyrium scoparium