Schizachyrium scoparium, Little Bluestem


Little Bluestem, late June

A warm-season grass, Little Bluestem arrives on the scene somewhat later than you might expect. But once it does, it begins to steal the show. Each individual clump can be green or blue-gray-green. I have been selecting my seeds for the grayer strains. There's nothing wrong with being green, but I happen to like the gray look among the flowering prairie plants like the orange Butterflyweed, above, and magenta Liatris aspera

By August, Little Bluestem sends stalks with wispy inflorescence rising above the foliage. As the season winds down and the temperatures dip, the stalks and leaves shift to a subtly complex display of burgundy, rose, lavender, russet and ochre. It can be absolutely stunning. 

I do not sell cultivars of Little Bluestem, such as "Blue Heaven," but I can get them in #1 pots, rather easily, if the more upright grass blades are of interest.

Blooms: purple with tawny seeds, mid-summer into winter

Height: 24 to 32 inches

Conditions: sun, pt sun to pt shade,  medium to dry soils

Little Bluestem form, midsummer.


The colors of Little Bluestem, autumn.