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- Little bluestem is a warm-season prairie grass that changes color throughout its life cycle. Known for strong, upright growth, its fourth-inch wide green leaves are tinged with blue or purple at the base.
Here's how your plants will look on arrival. All plants are dormant with no leaves or foliage.
Schizachyrium Scoparium- Little Bluestem
Little Bluestem is a warm-season prairie grass that changes color throughout its life cycle. Known for strong growth the bluestem has fourth-inch broad green leaves that tinge with blue or purple at the base. Purplish-bronze blooms rise above the fine-textured foliage in August. In fall, the foliage of this prairie grass may turn to bronze-orange or tawny-burgundy. Fluffy white seed heads form tufts that replace the blooms and may remain until winter. Little Bluestem easily withstands rain, wind, and snow, holding its upright position. It has a thick, fibrous root system. Growing at a moderate rate little bluestem's dense mounds reach a height of up to four feet and grow from one and a half to two feet wide. Alternate names for little bluestem include bunchgrass, beardgrass, and prairie beardgrass. Sturdy and able to adapt quickly, little bluestem readily reseeds and has the potential to become invasive in some areas if not managed well. Hardy in Zones 3-9, it is a low-maintenance perennial requiring full sun, although it will tolerate part shade. It is known for enduring a wide variety of soil conditions including clay, loam, and sand; however, it does not grow well in wet or highly acidic soils. High mowing can control weeds. Little bluestem does not have severe disease or insect problems and is both frost and drought resistant and helpful for controlling erosion. Widely distributed, little bluestem is native to the United States and Canada. Found on ridges, hills, and steep slopes. Suitable for hay, little Bluestem made an excellent forage grass and grazed by livestock, bison, deer, and elk. It attracts birds and butterflies, especially skippers, and provides food, cover, nesting material, and nesting sites for wildlife. Its seeds are eaten by many types of birds, especially those that winter in the grasslands.