The sheath is open, forming a long “V” at the front, and usually hairless. This is their second year. Little bluestem is considered to be adapted to USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9. Be that as it may, var. Little Bluestem $ 10.00 – $ 18.00. Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) Little bluestem has blue-gray-green leaf blades that turn redish-bronze in autumn. 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. The extensive root system makes it impervious to drought, so hold the water and give it plenty of sunlight (at least six hours). I don't think it should be planted. A single spike-like cluster at the tip of each branch and at the top of the stem. It requires a soil pH of 7.0 or slightly higher. ‘Carousel’ is an advanced selection developed This warm-season grass’ native prairie habitat has almost disappeared, but don’t worry. 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. 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. Densely mounded, Little Bluestem reaches a height of 3 … It also is slower to respond to shortening daylight hours in late summer. The wild form here and there along Old Highway 61. This forms an upright clump of blue-grey foliage, bearing narrow, medium-tall spikes in late summer. 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. 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. Little Bluestem. ), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources. Plant number: 8.020.250. Spikelet stalks are usually densely covered in fine hairs that are initially appressed but spread out as the spikelets mature. 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. Schizachyrium scoparium / Little Bluestem $ 8.00. The foliage provides excellent color all season-long and creates the perfect backgrop for prairie flowers. (They dry well, by the way.) Little bluestem tolerates a wide range of soils including clay, but needs good drainage and cannot thrive in shade or wetlands. The ligule (membrane where the leaf joins the sheath) is white to brownish and up to 2 mm long. Personally, I do not not think it is a wild form but a selection from some nursery-grown crops. Little bluestem is a tough, easy-care ornamental grass that’s most beautiful in the fall when its tufts of slim, ¼-inch-wide blue-green leaves turn from rust to wine red and its thin 2- to 3-inch clusters of fuzzy flower spikelets glisten silvery-white in the sun. QUICK STATS. Pick an image for a larger view. 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. 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. 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. 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. Photos by K. Chayka taken in Anoka and Ramsey counties. It also has very nice green, blue, and later red coloring. 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. Your email address: (required) 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. Partial shade (afternoon sun) is tolerated, but flowering may be diminished. A pretty grass, Little Bluestem is another iconic species of prairies that once covered much of Minnesota. 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. (=Andropogon scoparium) A recent selection of a native grass, which used to be widely distributed all over the Great Plains. The entire spikelet eventually falls off. Individual Annual Species. In fall the foliage changes from blue to burgundy and really makes a statement! Little Bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium. Shade, excess fertility, and too much moisture will all contribute to lax, floppy growth. Clumps may be easily divided in spring. A warm season bunchgrass with green, blue, copper, red, and bronze tones to its foliage, especially beautiful in fall and winter. 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. Grasses are adaptable and can grow in poorer soils better than many other garden plants. Little Bluestem is a highly ornamental native grass prized for its blue-green leaf color and upright form. This tough prairie grass is adaptable and tolerant to harsh conditions and poor soils. The blue grassy foliage is appealing all season, and only gets better in fall. Over 75 choices that will bloom in the second year and for years to come. The grass gets fluffy white seed heads that also adds seasonal interest. Little bluestem is very tolerant of dry soils but will also thrive in richer loam soils. USDA Zone: 4-9. Also important for wildlife ground cover. Foliage has good winter interest, but should be cut back to the ground in late winter or early spring. Description Semi-shade tolerant to full sun. This grass requires a location with full sun. CHECK AVAILABILITY. See Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Terrific in the border or meadow. scoparium is one that is widely accepted, common throughout North America, and is the species found in Minnesota. 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. Sandy to loamy soils are ideal for growing big bluestem grass. Quick View. Copyright © 2000 - 2020 Valleybrook International Ventures Inc. Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’, Alphabetical list of all 4,000+ perennials here. 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. In late summer inconspicuous flowers are held on branched stems above the leaves. At Greenwood Hardware, you will find a variety of plants that will thrive in the shade and brighten up those shady areas. Plants grow in large, tight clumps and sometimes spread through short rhizomes. MNL Septic Mound Mix $ 35.00 – $ 864.00 Select options. (=Andropogon scoparium) A recent selection of a native grass, which used to be widely distributed all over the Great Plains. Web design and content copyright © 2006-2020 MinnesotaWildflowers.info. 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. Your Name: It is a host plant for several native butterflies and is popular in the garden trade as well as restoration projects. Little Bluestem. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk. A large area of little bluestem in the late fall or winter is very striking. The culm (stem) is erect and hairless with many short branches and is often bluish to purple. Leaves are crowded on the lower part of the stem with few on the upper plant. 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