Schizachyrium scoparium. Seed is eaten by various birds, so it is an important winter bird fodder. Bluestem grass is also part of the fertile tall grass prairies of the midwest. It also is slower to respond to shortening daylight hours in late summer. This species is a perennial warm-season plant. and alpine laurel Kalmia microphylla are all showy and do well in partial shade. Schizachyrium scoparium / Little Bluestem $ 8.00. In fall the foliage changes from blue to burgundy and really makes a statement! Schizachyrium Scoparium – Little Bluestem Home / Grasses/Sedges / Schizachyrium Scoparium ... Full sun to partial shade Moisture - Well drained, Dry to moist Size - 3-4' height x 3-4' spread Comments * White plumes in late summer/fall . The grass gets fluffy white seed heads that also adds seasonal interest. Clumps may be easily divided in spring. Little Bluestem. The sheath is open, forming a long “V” at the front, and usually hairless. The glumes (pair of bracts at the base of a spikelet) of the fertile spikelet are ¼ to 3/8 inch long and equal in length, narrowly lance-elliptic with a sharply pointed tip. CHECK AVAILABILITY. ‘Carousel’ is an advanced selection developed The extensive root system makes it impervious to drought, so hold the water and give it plenty of sunlight (at least six hours). Thanks for your understanding. The ligule (membrane where the leaf joins the sheath) is white to brownish and up to 2 mm long. scoparium is one that is widely accepted, common throughout North America, and is the species found in Minnesota. Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. The ligule (membrane where the leaf joins the sheath) is white to brownish and up to 2 mm long. It is a prolific self-seeder and can become invasive with little bluestem in lawns a major competitor to traditional turf grass. The seed that develops in the fertile spikelet is purplish brown, narrowly spindle shaped with a long taper to a pointed tip, and about as long as the spikelet. A single spike-like cluster at the tip of each branch and at the top of the stem. Partial shade (afternoon sun) is tolerated, but flowering may be diminished. Foliage has good winter interest, but should be cut back to the ground in late winter or early spring. Little bluestem is a tidy, finely textured clumping grass with a blue-green summer color. The plant is adaptable to either full sun or partial shade. The wild form here and there along Old Highway 61. The foliage provides excellent color all season-long and creates the perfect backgrop for prairie flowers. Big bluestem grass is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9. The culm (stem) is erect and hairless with many short branches and is often bluish to purple. Grasses are adaptable and can grow in poorer soils better than many other garden plants. Spikes are 1 to 3 inches long, ascending to erect, typically purplish. Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) Little bluestem has blue-gray-green leaf blades that turn redish-bronze in autumn. See the glossary for icon descriptions. Individual Perennial Species. Help support this site ~ Information for sponsor opportunities. There is s powder blue form being sold in native seed mixes that does not look anything like the wild plants I have seen from MI, WI, or MN. In a garden setting, Little Bluestem is valued for its blue-green color in the summer and, after the first frost, it turns beautiful shades of brown, copper, and crimson that will remain all winter. At Greenwood Hardware, you will find a variety of plants that will thrive in the shade and brighten up those shady areas. Little Bluestem requires nearly full sun for upright growth and looks best when cut back in early spring, allowing new leaf blades to fill in. This selection features sturdy, tight, upright stems in blue-green and offers amazing fall colour when it turns a deep, red-purple. Little Bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium. (=Andropogon scoparium) A recent selection of a native grass, which used to be widely distributed all over the Great Plains. Be that as it may, var. Plant little bluestem grass in full sun in USDA zones 3 to 9. Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, part shade, sun; average to dry, sandy soil; prairies, dunes, roadsides, railroads, open woods. Plant number: 8.020.250. Fluffy light catching seed clusters follow. This grass requires a location with full sun. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk. The spikelets spread out as they mature, the hairs on the stalks spreading as well, the spike taking on a feathery look and often arching. For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc. Comment (max 1000 characters): Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because I’d like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. We have four clumps started from SWCD. A cultivar selected by agronomists in NE as a high yielding pasture grass, Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blaze' is also used ornamentally for its vivid red fall foliage. Keep It Alive. Description Semi-shade tolerant to full sun. Plants grow in large, tight clumps and sometimes spread through short rhizomes. Spikelets (flower clusters) are in pairs all along the spike; 1 stalkless spikelet containing a single fertile, perfect flower (both male and female parts) and usually 1 stalked sterile spikelet that is smaller than the fertile spikelet, occasionally containing a single male flower. Shade, excess fertility, and too much moisture will all contribute to lax, floppy growth. Very drought tolerant, and while it prefers full sun it will do fine in light shade. Little bluestem is a warm-season grass and does not green up right away in the spring. Little bluestem is considered to be adapted to USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9. Tolerates heat and humidity. It can even tolerate the partial shade of open woods, as long as the soil is well drained. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission. There are at least 3 recognized varieties of Schizachyrium scoparium (sometimes more depending on the reference), though the specific list varies and is apparently not universally accepted due to the wide natural variations of this species. If you have space for more shrubs, red flowering currant Ribes sanguineum, the silk tassel bush (Garrya ssp.) The plant is also aggressive and crowds out other native plants. Little Bluestem: USDA Zone: 3-9: Plant number: 8.316.930 (=Andropogon scoparium) A native grass, which used to be widely distributed all over the Great Plains. Above: Little bluestem grass grows wild in Wisconsin. Web design and content copyright © 2006-2020 MinnesotaWildflowers.info. Find mixtures for your region, or for special uses such as dry areas, partial shade, attracting animals, low growing, and more. Over 75 choices that will bloom in the second year and for years to come. Where in Minnesota? Regarding reuse of photos from this site: Any plant photo with a credit line including the words “Friends School Plant Sale photo” may be used with credit to the Friends School Plant Sale and named photographer, under the Creative Commons license. Moisture:: Moist or Dry Exposure: Full Sun - Part Shade Blooms: August-September Height: 1-3 feet Description: Little Bluestem is a native perennial prairie grass that was once very common in our historic prairie landscapes. It is characterized by the clump forming growth, most of the stalked spikelets being sterile (not staminate), and leaf blades and sheaths typically hairless, occasionally short-hairy. This warm-season grass’ native prairie habitat has almost disappeared, but don’t worry. It also has very nice green, blue, and later red coloring. ), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources. Your Name: USDA Zone: 4-9. The blue grassy foliage is appealing all season, and only gets better in fall. (=Andropogon scoparium) A recent selection of a native grass, which used to be widely distributed all over the Great Plains. Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it? Personally, I do not not think it is a wild form but a selection from some nursery-grown crops. Leaves are crowded on the lower part of the stem with few on the upper plant. Little bluestem is very tolerant of dry soils but will also thrive in richer loam soils. Spikelet stalks are usually densely covered in fine hairs that are initially appressed but spread out as the spikelets mature. MNL Septic Mound Mix $ 35.00 – $ 864.00 Select options. Order Quantity: Clear: Little Bluestem quantity ... prefers dry to mesic soils and can handle full sun to part shade conditions. The sheath is open, forming a long “V” at the front, and usually hairless. Sprite' tender perennial well-drained full sun to part shade These fragrant and floriferous herbs bloom all summer until freeze and attract a wide array of pollinators from bees to ... An upright silvery blue-leaved little bluestem that turns deep wine red/purple in the fall. Map of native plant purveyors in the upper midwest. A large area of little bluestem in the late fall or winter is very striking. Grasses/Sedges. Excellent in sandy or otherwise well-drained soils, it spreads colonially in the right conditions. A warm season bunchgrass with green, blue, copper, red, and bronze tones to its foliage, especially beautiful in fall and winter. Sandy to loamy soils are ideal for growing big bluestem grass. This tough prairie grass is adaptable and tolerant to harsh conditions and poor soils. FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Schizachyrium scoparium is a mounding grass with narrow green or blue-green foliage. Masses of Little Bluestem may be combined with flowering perennials such as rudbeckias, salvias, daylilies and daisies as a effective transition zone between the well watered and cultivated garden area and a surrounding wildscape … Little Bluestem is a highly ornamental native grass prized for its blue-green leaf color and upright form. The sterile spikelet has a much shorter awn. Little Bluestem. This forms an upright clump of blue-grey foliage, bearing narrow, medium-tall spikes in late summer. In fall, the grass turns a rosy rust color that lasts all winter. It requires a soil pH of 7.0 or slightly higher. It is taller, stiffer with thick stems, and powder blue leaves. Little Bluestem $ 10.00 – $ 18.00. 24-36" tall x 15" wide (seed propagated). Plant this Little Bluestem in the Blacklands, Edwards Plateau, Cross Timbers, Lost Pines & Rolling Plains to help restore habitat for bobwhite quail, white-tailed deer, rio grande turkey, le conte's sparrow. Little Bluestem. This forms an upright clump of blue-grey foliage, bearing narrow, medium-tall spikes in late summer. Photos by K. Chayka taken in Anoka and Ramsey counties. Nodes are hairless and purplish. 'Blaze' Little Bluestem grass is invaluable in xeriscapes and native wildflower plantings, plus it has great winter color! A pretty grass, Little Bluestem is another iconic species of prairies that once covered much of Minnesota. Carousel Little Bluestem Family Poaceae (Grass Family) Origin Schizachyrium scoparium is an important warm-season, clump-forming native prairie grass that is widely distrib-uted throughout the prairies and open woods of North America from Quebec to Alberta, and south to Arizona and Florida. It provides interest when planted in random patches on slopes and dry areas associated with post oak and yaupon landscapes, and grows either in full sun or partial shade. Your email address: (required) 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. Leaves are flat or folded lengthwise, green to blue-green, up to 10 inches long and about ¼ inch wide, sometimes finely hairy but usually hairless except for sparse, long spreading hairs near the base. Superb bronzy orange colour develops in the autumn. In late summer inconspicuous flowers are held on branched stems above the leaves. Also important for wildlife ground cover. Growing only 2 to 3 feet tall, Little Bluestem works well in natural prairie plantings or grouped with other perennials. It is found in many types of soil but is particularly adapted to well-drained, nearly infertile soil which makes it an excellent erosion barrier. QUICK STATS. Height: 24" - 36" Bloom Time: Aug - Sep Light: Full sun to part shade Soils: Dry, Average Specialty Uses: Medicinal, Landscaping Price(s): Packet: $3.00; Ounce: $4.00; Pound: $15.00; Images: NOTE: This item is sold by the PLS (Pure Live Seed) pound. Individual Annual Species. 500 Little Bluestem Ornamental Grass Seeds, Schizachyrium scoparium 3.5 out of 5 stars 9 David's Garden Seeds Grass Bluestem Little 7212 (Blue) Non-GMO, Open Pollinated One Ounce Package Sometimes, it can be a little tough to grow certain plants that require plenty of sunshine and heat to thrive when you are blessed with so much shade. This is their second year. In a garden setting, Little Bluestem is valued for its blue-green color in the summer and, after the first frost, it turns beautiful shades of brown, copper, and crimson that will remain all winter. Read on for little bluestem information so you can decide if this interesting plant is right for your landscape. Copyright © 2000 - 2020 Valleybrook International Ventures Inc. Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’, Alphabetical list of all 4,000+ perennials here. The lemma (bract at the base of a flower) of the fertile flower has an awn about 5/8 inch long that is slightly twisted and bent near its base. Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 15, 2012 8:07 AM. Quick View. Densely mounded, Little Bluestem reaches a height of 3 … Nodes are hairless and purplish. It is quite hardy, extending from Zones 3-9. Stems take on a tan or reddish color in fall and persist through winter. Funding provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The Blues Little Bluestem is one of the easiest ornamental grasses to grow, as it tolerates a wide range of soil conditions and is hardy in zones 3-9. Little bluestem plant is a native grass to North America. Learn which ornamental and native grasses have an aggressive habit, which is not recommended for smaller gardens. Little bluestem tolerates a wide range of soils including clay, but needs good drainage and cannot thrive in shade or wetlands. Related products ; MNL Pioneer Mix $ 30.00 – $ 740.00 Select options. The entire spikelet eventually falls off. See Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The culm (stem) is erect and hairless with many short branches and is often bluish to purple. I don't think it should be planted. Pick an image for a larger view. Life Cycle. Photograph by Joshua Mayer via Flickr. It is a host plant for several native butterflies and is popular in the garden trade as well as restoration projects. Terrific in the border or meadow. The grass gets fluffy white seed heads that also adds seasonal interest. Adapted to oak woods and prairies of central Texas with annual rainfalls of 20 to 40". 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