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Little Bluestem Grass
Little Bluestem Grass

Little Bluestem Grass

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Little Bluestem
Scientific Name: Schizachyrium scoparium

History/general species info: Little bluestem is found throughout the lower provinces of Canada and all states of the U.S., except Nevada and Washington. Some native tribes used little bluestem switches in ceremonial sweat lodges. The Lakota word means “small red grass”. Dried leaves and stems were rubbed into soft fiber for moccasin lining and insulation

Characteristics: Very ornamental bunch perennial grass that has fine-textured foliage that forms very dense moundsl. In September the blue-green stems turn red with white seed tufts in fall which are of great value to small birds in the winter. Performs well as an accent in the garden, and is also a very good choice for natural settings or wildscapes in the home landscape. 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.

Native: Yes 

Flower: fall turns red with white seed tufts

Planting / Care: High heat and salt tolerance. Grows in sand, loam, and clay. Low water requirement.  Deer resistant.  

Height: 3-4’   

Spread: 1’

Light requirement: Sun/Part Shade 

Wildlife: Attracts Birds , Butterflies. Graze, Cover, Nesting material, Seeds-Small mammals and birds.

Links: 

A&M Horticulture

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/newsletters/hortupdate/hortupdate_archives/2005/sept05/LittleBS.html

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SCSC

Photo credits: Ernie Edmundson