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Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues'

Little Bluestem

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This is an excellent native grass for the garden. It is an upright, clump-forming grass with slender, blue-green leaves. The foliage turns a striking red-orange in the fall, excellent in massed plantings or mixed with other native grasses and wildflowers. Fluffy silver seed heads bloom in late summer or early fall and are ornamental through winter.

Benefits

Uniquely colorful fall foliage, nice in dried arrangements
Provides nest sites, cover and food for birds
Attracts butterflies, host plant for many skippers
Easy to grow, deer resistant
Drought resistant once established in landscape

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Easy to grow in full sun. Grow in dry to average soil. Tolerates heat and humidity easily. Watering or fertilization is actually detrimental; best left to it's own devices! Leave foliage in place for winter interest and to provide homes for over-wintering critters. Cut back to the ground in late winter before new growth begins.


Height
2-4 Feet

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Spread
2-2 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

Native Range

Prairies, fields, open woodlands and roadsides; New Brunswick to Alberta south to Arizona and Florida.

Native Trivia

Little bluestem's root system is deep and fibrous. Individual roots are relatively fine but most roots grow almost vertically downward to depths comparable to shade trees. This is one of the reasons why it is so drought tolerant.


"This is one of the primary grasses found in the east and feeds my feathered friends in winter."

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
Low Grasses
Medium to Tall Grasses
Exposure
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Sun
Soil
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Mammals
Songbirds
Bloom Time
Fall
Late Summer
Critter Resistance
Deer Resistant
Habitat Collection
Songbird
Native Habitat
Coastal
Desert
Forest
Grassland
Riparian, wetland
Foliage Color
Blue-green
Uses
Accent
Cut or dried flower
Drought tolerant
Erosion control
Mass plant
Meadow
Naturalizes
Rock garden
Specimen
Wind tolerant
Native to
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming