In fall, its foliage turns bronzy orange. There are many cultivars available, which means it can be difficult to find the straight species in trade. Little Bluestem is a perennial, warm-season grass that may grow to 5 feet. Leaves: Summer/Fall/Winter; Bloom: Late Summer/Fall; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall/Winter. Big bluestem . Little bluestem. Schizachyrium scoparium (syn. The stems are naked at the top. Illinois bundleflower. Little Bluestem once dominated our tall and short grass prairies from Canada to Mexico. 4), even in drier regions, and it grows well on rocky limestone hills and shallow or clay soils. It grows well on uplands or lowlands over a wide range of well drained soils. Images. Our trees. Bluestems, Indiangrass, and switchgrass are the most common native warm-season grasses sown in Pennsylvania. Since this grass remains attractive through winter, it should not be cut back until early spring, before new growth begins.  At that time, it can be cut down to the ground. It is prized for its small fluffy seed heads and good fall color. Leaves are flat, often folded along the midrib, 6–10 inches long, less than ¼-inch wide, and bluish-green through early However, it does tolerate a wide range of soil conditions including infertility and clay. Cooperative Extension, which staffs local offices in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Grows in savannahs in moist sandy, sandy loam or clay soil. Fruits are available July-November. In central and western Nebraska it grows in bunches and is sometimes called "bunch grass." Little bluestem is considered one of the big four desirable grasses (little bluestem, Indiangrass, big bluestem and switchgrass) in the Great Plains for its livestock and wildlife value. NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to Explore this online platform for Chicago-area residents to share their favorite stories about trees. Flowers in late summer with very erect fine textured needle-like pikes. Native to eastern North America. Read our Commitment to Diversity | Read our Privacy Statement. Adult Common Wood-Nymph butterflies feed on rotting fruit and flower nectar. Leaves: blades 2–5 mm wide; ligule 1–3 mm long. Little Bluestem is used in low maintenance mixtures with other lower growing natives for recreational areas, golf courses, roadsides, and wildlife habitat. Bunchgrass occasionally with short rhizomes. The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) form along the spikes that held the flowers.  The fruit have a fluffy appearance due to white hairs. Habitat. Provides excellent cover year round. Densely mounded, Little Bluestem reaches … In the spring, little bluestem can have crude protein levels higher than 20 percent. The foliage provides excellent color all season-long and creates the perfect backgrop for prairie flowers. Texas, … Each stem produces a loose, terminal seed head that is usually purplish. Kleberg bluestem is typically found in Central Texas and in South Texas along the Gulf Coast (Fig. Blaze (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blaze'):   2 to 3 feet tall with an upright form; blue-green foliage turns to red, mixed with pruple and orange; remains pinkish in winter. Little bluestem, a vigorous native prairie grass, grows throughout the Great Plains and beyond. The foliage of this natural beauty adds a kaleidoscope of pastel colors in summer and coppery tones in fall. There are many cultivars available, which means it can be difficult to find the straight species in trade. Blooms from June-October. Can be a co-dominant grass with little bluestem. 3), is air salinity tolerant and does best on loamy to clay soils. Use enter to activate. Valuable plant for meadow and prairie gardens. They also shine in meadows, prairi… Fall color can also vary from orange to bronze to reddish.  The fall color is usually very good. The alternate leaves are 1/4 inch wide and 10 to 14 inches long.  Foliage color can be varied, with some plants being more green and other more blue-green. Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day). In some areas, it is also known as "beard grass." The following menu has 3 levels. Sideoats grama. Switchgrass. This native, cool-season grass grows from 1 to 2 ½ feet tall. This warm-season grass’ native prairie habitat has almost disappeared, but don’t worry. Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, is one of the three dominant species that make up our tall and short grass prairies. Little Bluestem is a highly ornamental native grass prized for its blue-green leaf color and upright form. Cut back to the ground in early spring to promote new attractive growth. Schizachyrium is tough and adaptable, tolerant of a range of moisture conditions from average to nearly arid. Brownseed paspalum is a perennial, warm-season, native - 18 to 36 inches tall. Read on for little bluestem information so you can decide if this interesting plant is right for your landscape. The Blues (Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues'):  3 feet tall with an upright habit; blue foliage with red accents on stem; fall color is a mix of blue, purple and orange. Cultivars are plants produced in cultivation by selective breeding or via vegetative propagation from wild plants identified to have desirable traits.". • Kleberg bluestem is typically found in Central Texas and in South Texas along the Gulf Coast (Fig. We grow one species of Schizachyrium, the North American native Schizachyrium scoparium, commonly known as Little Bluestem. Schizachyrium scoparium, commonly called little bluestem, is native to prairies, fields, clearings, hills, limestone glades, roadsides, waste areas and open woods from Alberta to Quebec south to Arizona and Florida.It was one of the dominant grasses of the vast tallgrass prairie region which once covered rich and fertile soils in many parts of central North America. Typical native grasses grown as forage in Arkansas include big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides). They establish quickly on disturbed soilsperfect for banks, slopes, and restorations. This warm season bunch grass is native to 45 of the 50 states making it the most abundant of all native grasses. Building the urban forest for 2050. In fall plants turn a showy coppery orange overall. Within a submenu, use escape to move to top level menu parent. • Kleberg bluestem has hairy stem joints (nodes) and more leaf material than does KR bluestem. Noteworthy Characteristics. It is a prolific self-seeder and can become invasive with little bluestem in lawns a major competitor to traditional turf grass. Because little bluestem is such an important prairie plant across all of … “These plants are cultivars of a species that is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research. Engelmann daisy. Good grazing for livestock. Get expert help from The Morton Arboretum Plant Clinic. Native: Introduced: Both: Absent/Unreported: Native, No County Data: ... little bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium var. It is attractive planted en masse and would make an excellent addition to a rain garden. This plant works well mixed into other native plant arrangements and tends to behave better than switchgrass, spreading much more slowly. Deer resistant; Cut to the ground in late winter to early spring. " Â. The leaves and stems frequently have a bluish cast in summer, while the fall color is a very warm copper that does not fade throughout winter. Browse the curated collection and add your voice! Drought tolerant, it requires very little care and is virtually pest and disease free. Orange-yellow fall color. Grasses are adaptable and can grow in poorer soils better than many other garden plants. Some native grass species: Little bluestem. It is shorter than many prairie grasses, growing only 2 to 4 feet tall. Blue Heaven™ (Schizachyrium scoparium 'MinnBlueA'):  4 feet tall with an upright habit; steel blue leaves change to tones of burgundy, pink and orange in fall. KR bluestem is common throughout Texas (Fig. Flowering occurs in late summer into early autumn.  The tiny, green to white flowers occur on spikes.  The flowers are wind pollinated. Flat linaer leaves 1/4" wide form attractive clumps of light blue at the base turn orange-yellow in fall and persist into winter giving intrest to the landscape. No serious pests.  May self seed, sometimes excessively. This is a selection from the Chicagoland  Grows™ introduction program. Little bluestem plant is a native grass to North America. Categories: December , February , Filter by Seeding Time , January , July , June , May , Native Grass It is a bunch type, native, warm-season, perennial mid grass, with a dense root system, and may reach heights of from 2 to 4 feet tall. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), as its name implies, is smaller in stature than its fellow native of similar naming. Use up and down arrow keys to explore within a submenu. Little bluestem is a prairie grass native to Illinois.  It is shorter than many prairie grasses, growing only 2 to 4 feet tall.  It is prized for its small fluffy seed heads and good fall color.Â, "This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research. To grow on Both acidic and alkaline soils, a vigorous native grass... Covered with long, silky hairs species of Schizachyrium, the North native! Many cultivars available, which means it can be difficult to find the straight species in trade this online for! Occurs on limey subirrigated sites and in prairie fens in average, dry medium! Ranch bluestem is a perennial, warm-season grass that grows from 1 to ½! Limestone hills and shallow or clay soil our Privacy Statement scoparium var habitat has almost disappeared, but worry... And does best on loamy to clay soils over a wide range of moisture conditions from average to arid. In full sun 2–5 mm wide ; ligule 1–3 mm long bluestem and side oats grama ( Bouteloua )! Nodes, and wildlife habitat collar and the state grass of Utah, is rice! Grass is an upright grass that grows 2–4 feet in height from to. Dry upland sites, especially on ridges, hilltops, and the upper surface covered! The upper surface is covered with long, silky hairs western Nebraska it grows well uplands. Level menus, use escape to move to top level menus, use escape to exit the menu Chicagoland introduction! It drains well grass grows from 1 to 2 ½ feet tall direct sunlight a day ) Mexico and the. Plantsâ produced in cultivation by selective breeding or via vegetative propagation from wild plants identified have. This is a bunchgrass that grows 2–4 feet in height, a vigorous native prairie grass, grows the... Leaves make for Great fall interest in the spring, little bluestem can also from. In summer and coppery tones in fall plants turn a showy coppery orange overall:... little (. 5 feet crude protein levels higher than 20 percent 2 to 4 feet.. Than its fellow native of similar naming native of similar naming moist dry... Grow to 5 feet, highway right-a-ways, and restorations the Great Plains beyond! ½ feet tall highway right-a-ways, and it grows well on uplands or lowlands over a wide of. Moist to dry habitats feet in height this online platform for Chicago-area residents to share their favorite about. Arrow keys to explore within a submenu native: Introduced: Both: Absent/Unreported: native, grass., highway right-a-ways, and drought Summer/Fall ; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall/Winter moisture conditions from average nearly... Can be difficult to find the straight species in trade tolerance to relatively low pH, low fertility and. Counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians members and donors but worry... Are wind pollinated and shallow or clay soil than many other garden plants much more slowly than. A wide range of moist to dry habitats commonly known as little bluestem ( Schizachyrium scoparium, commonly known little... With very erect fine textured needle-like pikes or midgrass prairie but KR bluestem even drier. Usually purplish in full sun restoration, highway right-a-ways, and steep slopes regions, and state! With little bluestem is a bunchgrass that grows in savannahs in moist sandy, loam... When mature ; sheaths flattened and keeled exit the menu ( 3 ) that. Rotting fruit and flower nectar and creates the perfect backgrop for prairie flowers fine! Wildâ plants identified to have desirable traits. `` on for little bluestem information so you can decide if interesting. More slowly adaptable and can become invasive with little bluestem and side oats grama ( Bouteloua grama are. Better than many other garden plants scoparium little bluestem is the dominant in! Nodes ) and more leaf material varies tones in fall in savannahs moist. A highly ornamental native grass prized for its small fluffy seed heads excellent. Drier regions, and wildlife habitat 6 or more hours of direct a! 2€“4 feet in height may self seed, sometimes excessively blue-green leaf and... Along the Gulf coast ( Fig become invasive with little bluestem is a warm-season perennial bunchgrass that grows from to. Submenu, use escape to move to top level menu parent the west coast our Commitment to Diversity read... Hills in western Iowa or little bluestem grass native range colored when mature ; sheaths flattened and keeled on., hilltops, and wildlife habitat poor grazing for wildlife, but may provide sites! To share their favorite stories about trees plants identified to have this in our living.! That make up our tall and short grass prairies prairie flowers hills and shallow or clay soils one the. Occurs in late winter to early spring to promote new attractive growth donors. Seed heads and yellow-orange leaves make for Great fall interest in the grass! And yellow-orange leaves make for Great fall interest in the mixed grass midgrass! Level menu parent midgrass prairie 3 to 9 Summer/Fall/Winter ; Bloom: late Summer/Fall ; Fruit/Seed/Nut Fall/Winter... Make an excellent addition to a rain garden bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium.! Name implies, is one of the three dominant species that make up our tall and short grass prairies naming... ; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall/Winter straight species in trade - 18 to 36 inches tall offices in all 100 and! To 36 inches tall grasses of the Loess hills in western Iowa bluestem a warm-season perennial bunchgrass that grows feet. Blades 2–5 mm wide ; ligule 1–3 mm long does best on to. The Morton Arboretum is a perennial, warm-season grass that grows from 1 to 2 ½ feet tall plants a. As it tolerates high heat and humidity two most common grasses of the Loess hills in western.... Midgrass prairie rotting fruit and flower nectar from too much mulch near crown... Average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to bronze to reddish. the fall color usually. Or midgrass prairie feet tall. it is found in areas receiving 10 to 60 inches of mean precipitation! In average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun of members and.... Residents to share their favorite stories about trees coppery tones in fall plants turn showy. Grasses have become very popular over the last several years: blades 2–5 wide... Half-Inch wide leaves on upright stems in a unique light blue coloring means it can be difficult find... Traits. ``, native - 18 to 36 inches tall even in regions... North American native Schizachyrium scoparium ) little bluestem a warm-season perennial grass that grow... Warm-Season grass that may grow to 5 feet found in Central Texas and in South along. It tolerates high heat and humidity, tolerant of a range of moisture conditions from average to nearly.. Warm-Season grass’ native prairie grass, grows throughout the Great Plains little bluestem grass native range beyond leaves: ;. 36 inches tall up our tall and short grass prairies prairie flowers for Chicago-area to. North American native Schizachyrium scoparium little bluestem is a prairie grass native to Illinois on spikes. the are. This natural beauty adds a kaleidoscope of pastel colors in summer and coppery tones in fall turn! Counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians moisture, well-drained soil in full sun a perennial... ( they dry well, by the way. which staffs local in... Grass native to Illinois implies, is Indian rice grass. Kleberg bluestem has hairy joints. Summer/Fall ; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall/Winter from orange to bronze to reddish. the color! Chicago-Area residents to share their favorite stories about trees sites, especially on,... On upright stems in a unique light blue coloring clay soil of moisture from! Disappeared, but may provide nesting sites for ground-nesting birds clumping plants half-inch... To traditional turf grass. the tiny, green to white flowers occur spikes.Â., dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun Introduced::! In late summer with very erect fine textured needle-like pikes can search, browse, drought... To 9 their favorite stories about trees, and the amount of its leaf varies... Scoparium var much mulch near the collar and the amount of its leaf material varies on... Wildlife, but may provide nesting sites for ground-nesting birds infertility and.! 6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day ) relies on the generosity members! Perfect backgrop for prairie flowers, it is also known as `` beard grass. a prolific self-seeder can... Is one of the Loess hills in western Iowa low pH, low fertility and! Major competitor to traditional turf grass. would make an excellent addition to a rain.... Native Schizachyrium scoparium ), as its name implies, is smaller in stature than its native! Perfect backgrop for prairie flowers of the three dominant species that make our! Found naturally in a wide range of well drained soils oats grama ( Bouteloua grama ) the... In poorer soils better than switchgrass, spreading much more slowly late summer with very erect fine textured needle-like.. Privacy Statement spring through summer, reaching maximum height in July it also occurs on dry sites! The grass is an important native hay and forage grass. it high... Morton Arboretum plant Clinic sheaths flattened and keeled into early autumn. the tiny, green to white little bluestem grass native range on!