Species Name:  Schizachyrium scoparium

Common Name: Little Blue Stem

Zone: 4 to 9

Light: Full Sun to Partial Sun

Soil Moisture: Dry to Medium

Soil Types: Sand, Loam

Fertility: Poor to Medium

pH: 5.5 to 7.0

Bloom Time: September - October

Habit: A warm season clump forming grass with bluish green foliage that turns a stunning crimson fall color. Little blue stem can be used as an ornamental grass, in mass plantings as an accent or in mixed perennials plantings.  The seed heads mature from September-October providing an important food source for many types of wildlife as well as desirable winter interest.  The stiff stems of the plant remain upright throughout the growing season providing valuable nesting cover during summer and protection from predators and extreme weather during winter. Little bluestem is the backbone of the prairie community. It is the most abundant grass in any native prairie.  Its structure and clump forming nature provides physical support for many prairie wildflowers and space between clumps for other plants to grow. As a warm season grass little blue stem is slow to emerge in the spring waiting for the heat of summer to put on a burst of late season growth.  Its deep soil enriching root system makes it practically immune to drought. It grows in nearly any well drained soil from dry to moist and from poor to rich.  It is long lived and adaptable and will reseed and spread in suitable habitat. It is native to all but a few far western states.

Blue-green foliage of Little bluestem

Little bluestem in winter

Little bluestem prairie in winter