Andropogon scoparius). Little bluestem is a prairie grass native to Illinois. In tallgrass prairies, companion grasses include Big Bluestem, Indian Grass, and Switch Grass. We grow one species of Schizachyrium, the North American native Schizachyrium scoparium, commonly known as Little Bluestem. Good drought tolerance. Explore this online platform for Chicago-area residents to share their favorite stories about trees. It is able to grow on both acidic and alkaline soils. Stop by, email, or call. It is a clumping grass. Noted for its striking reddish-tan foliage, Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem) is a densely-tufted, deciduous, perennial grass forming an upright clump of fine-textured, slender, arching, blue-green leaves. Seeds are fuzzy and white at maturity and great value to small birds. It tends to go dormant without moisture, so the best appearance is preserved with weekly watering, especially those plants in containers. Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), often more than 2 metres (6.5 feet) tall, is the characteristic plant species of the North American tallgrass prairie.It is sometimes known as turkeyfoot, in reference to its forked flower cluster, and is a good hay and pasture plant. use escape to move to top level menu parent. A foundation species, Little Bluestem is absolutely beautiful in commercial & residential landscapes. This is a selection from the Chicagoland  Grows™ introduction program. Caterpillars of the following Skipper butterflies all feed on Little Bluestem Foliage; 1. State grass of Kansas. It needs no nitrogen application the first year, but in subsequent years will benefit from a high nitrogen fertilizer application in spring. Growing little bluestem grass in the landscape as an ornamental foliage plant provides a dimensional and architectural foil for broad leaved and flowering plants. They establish quickly on disturbed soilsperfect for banks, slopes, and restorations. The flowers are wind pollinated. 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. Wetland Status. It is a warm season grass that normally grows 1-3′ in height. Schizachyrium is tough and adaptable, tolerant of a range of moisture conditions from average to nearly arid. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Little bluestem is an upright grass that grows from 2 to 4 feet tall. Since this grass remains attractive through winter, it should not be cut back until early spring, before new growth begins. Our future. Explore {{searchView.params.phrase}} by color family {{familyColorButtonText(colorFamily.name)}} Crossline Skipper 2. For a wonderful little workhorse in the landscape, get your hands on The Blues Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium The Blues'). As an added bonus, songbirds and gamebirds enjoy the seeds and it provides cover for foraging wildlife. It is a warm-season perennial with similar cultivation needs to little bluestem, but it grows taller (up to 9 feet) and spreads by rhizomes. It is a clumping 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. Color, however, may vary. The foliage provides excellent color all season-long and creates the perfect backgrop for prairie flowers. Have tree and plant questions? “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. We do not seem to have this in our living collection. Tolerate of both alkaline and acid soils. The leaves are flat with slightly hairy bases and tend to roll up at maturity. Use up and down arrow keys to explore within a submenu. Get expert help from The Morton Arboretum Plant Clinic. Little bluestem is one of the most abundant grasses in Kansas, and it has significant economic importance in the Flint Hills region. It is adapted to a wide variety of soils and soil moisture and can withstand some shading. Schizachyrium scoparium (formerly Andropogon scoparius) Graminoid Grass Family. Seasons of Interest: Leaves: Summer/Fall/Winter; Bloom: Late Summer/Fall; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall/Winter Little bluestem is not to be confused with big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), which was the dominant species of the tall grass prairie. This is a warm season grass, so … The plant turns a red or bronze-orange cast after frost. It is perhaps best adapted to well-drained, dry, poor soils. Big bluestem, or Andropogon gerardii, also is known as turkey foot, because the seed heads stick outward, resembling a turkey's foot. Little bluestem plant is a native grass to North America. 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. Little bluestem plant is a native grass to North America. Retains its upright form through winter, providing structure in the landscape and shelter for wildlife. Maryland Distribution: Dry areas with poor soil, sunny meadows, woodland edges.Throughout the state. Bluestem grass is a remarkably adaptable and attractive addition to the home landscape as long as you are aware of its invasive potential. Little Bluestem once dominated our tall and short grass prairies from Canada to Mexico. A handsome, dwarf clumping grass with distinct blue-green blades highlighted pink by mid-summer. Height: 1.5-3 feet Blooms: Silky seeds emerge in fall Sun: Full sun Soil: Dry, poor soil of any texture Garden Use & Maintenance: Clumping, perennial warm season grass. Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menus and submenus. Use up and down arrow keys to explore within a submenu. Eradicating KR or Kleberg bluestem is difficult unless the grass was introduced only recently and in small amounts. The grass’s fluffy seed heads are an added attraction to this colorful plant but they freely disperse in wind and, when disrupted, send floating seeds to all corners of the garden. Schizachyrium scoparium is the botanical name for little bluestem plant. It is a host plant for several native butterflies and is popular in the garden trade as well as restoration projects. Little Bluestem native grass is often used in wildflower plantings because it is short and mixes well with wildflowers for increased attraction. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. (They dry well, by the way.) It will remain standing in winter and can act as winter interest. Noteworthy Characteristics. Most important in distinguishing these species is the seedheads. Browse the curated collection and add your voice! General: Little bluestem is a tufted (sometimes with short rhizomes), warm-season (C 4), perennial grass broadly distributed and native to the U.S. and Canada. It is a perennial warm-season grass with pretty bluish-green color followed by rust colored fall foliage and fluffy white seed heads. Fall color can also vary from orange to bronze to reddish. Foliage transitions into a kaleidoscope of copper, pink, and mahogany in fall. Carousel (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Carousel'):  compact (2 1/2 feet tall) with an upright habit; blue green foliage with purple tints; fall color is a mix of copper, pink and mahogany. Read more articles about Little Bluestem Grass. 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. 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. This is a warm season grass, so its most active growth occurs in summer. Its roots, which grow 5-8 feet long, enable it to resist moderate drought conditions. little bluestem (right) in mid-October. Little bluestem, lovegrass and sideoats grama are usually in these seeding mixtures in addition to big bluestem and indiangrass. Jazz (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Jazz'):  2 to 3 feet tall with an upright habit; silvery blue foliage turns mauve purple in fall. There are no serious pest or disease threats to little bluestem plants. Natural Areas Conservation Training Program, Black walnut toxicity (plants tolerant of), Preventing construction damage to trees and shrubs, Trees and shrubs for the four seasons landscape, Sudden Oak Death, Ramorum Blight and Phytophthora ramorum, Eastern United States Wetlands Collection. 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. The only way to prevent this is to cut off the seed heads before they mature, but this reduces some of the visual appeal. Prairie Munchkin (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Prairie Munchkin'): 2 1/2 feet tall with a narrow, columnar habit; silvery blue foliage turns maroon and orange in fall. Little bluestem is an upright grass that grows from 2 to 4 feet tall. variety of soils and is a very attractive grass in summer and fall. But almost everywhere that could be plowed has been plowed. No serious pests. Our trees. The Morton Arboretum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on the generosity of members and donors. Texas, … The plant needs supplemental water in early establishment stages, but thereafter is quite self-sufficient except in severe drought. Indian Skipper 4. Cultivars are plants produced in cultivation by selective breeding or via vegetative propagation from wild plants identified to have desirable traits.". Flowering occurs in late summer into early autumn. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. Go to list of cultivars. 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Use enter to activate. Little Bluestem was originally the most abundant of all native grass. Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menus and submenus. Because of this broad distribution, little bluestem exhibits significant ecotypic variation. Plant Care. Little Bluestem... Has been reported from every county in Kansas, Is found in a variety of locations (prairies, dry hills, open woods) and in a variety of soil types (deep, shallow, fine textured, rocky soils), Is a mid-grass that reaches 2 to 5 feet at maturity, Prairie Blues (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Prairie Blues'): 3 feet tall with an upright habit; blue gray foliage turns red-orange in fall. 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. It is a member of the grass family (Poaceae). Little Bluestem can be planted for erosion control and will attract wildlife. (Schizachyrium scoparium) Good drought tolerance. It is truly an important plant for the e… Little Bluestem grass (Schizachyrium scoparium) is a Texas native which has moved from the pasture into the home landscape in recent years. It grows well on deep, shallow, sandy, fine-textured or rocky soils in either uplands or lowlands. 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. The alternate leaves are 1/4 inch wide and 10 to 14 inches long. It prefers warm regions where there are rocky outcrops or dry gritty soil but is also found as transition material between cultivated land and forest. The foliage of this natural beauty adds a kaleidoscope of pastel colors in summer and coppery tones in fall. The three variations of bluestem grass are big bluestem, little bluestem and sand bluestem. The fruit have a fluffy appearance due to white hairs. Dusted Skipper 3. Swarthy Skipper Additionally, various small songbirds eat the seed of Little Bluestem during the Fall/Winter. Little Bluestem is a highly ornamental native grass prized for its blue-green leaf color and upright form. Within a submenu, use escape to move to top level menu parent. Our communities. In container situations, this means you will need to divide the plant annually to prevent overcrowding and the take-over of the container. At that time, it can be cut down to the ground. Little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, is a North American prairie native found throughout the 48 contiguous states, except for the far western, coastal areas. Interpreting Wetland Status. Tolerates nutrient-poor soils and requires little care. The foliage of this North American prairie native turns striking copper-orange to dark orange-red in the fall and winter, persisting through winter snows. They also shine in meadows, prairi… Warm-season grass forage quality Forage quality measurements (protein, fiber, digestibility) of warm-season grasses have consistently been lower than measurements for cool-season grasses at the same growth stage. The photographs featured on the State Grass Initiative portion of the Kansas Native Plant Society website are available for educators to download and print for classroom use. The seeds establish easily after spring rains wash them into the soil, which means the unwary gardener may find little bluestem in lawns and other areas where it is not wanted. The fall color is usually very good. Sign up for our newsletter. Sow the seed in spring or plant plugs for quicker establishment. In shortgrass prairies, it is often the dominant species along with Side-oats Grama. Tolerate of both alkaline and acid soils. You can search, browse, and learn more about the plants in our living collections by visiting our BRAHMS website. The plants also grow side shoots which can be divided from the parent and transplanted. This warm-season grass’ native prairie habitat has almost disappeared, but don’t worry. This bunch grass also provides cover for small wildlife. Foliage color can be varied, with some plants being more green and other more blue-green. Little Bluestem is an iconic warm season grass of the prairie habitat that is commonly used in both landscaping and restoration projects. Standing Ovation (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Standing Ovation'): 3 to 4 feet tall with an upright habit; blue foliage with purple tints; fall color is red-orange and burgundy. Read on for little bluestem information so you can decide if this interesting plant is right for your landscape. Its color deepens to rusty mahogany in fall and the clumps persist through much of the winter unless crushed by snow. The following menu has 3 levels. This 3-foot-tall bunchgrass grows a foot in diameter. Browse 161 bluestem grass stock photos and images available, or search for little bluestem grass to find more great stock photos and pictures. Little bluestem is a tidy, finely textured clumping grass with a blue-green summer color. Little Bluestem grows well on a variety of soil types, including Deep, shallow, sandy, fine textured, and rocky soils. The Grass Manual on the Web - Illustration (SCSC) The Grass Manual on the Web - Map (SCSC) Use as an ornamental specimen, or for … Look up bluestem grass in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Plants vary in height, color, length of leaves, flowering, and clump diameter It is a prolific self-seeder and can become invasive with little bluestem in lawns a major competitor to traditional turf grass. Deer graze on bluestem grass. little bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium var. Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) is a prairie bunchgrass very important in quail restoration projects.Can have bluish color on the stems in spring and summer, and reddish tan color in the fall. State Grass > Photo Gallery Little Bluestem Photo Gallery Gallery . The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) form along the spikes that held the flowers. 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. 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