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What is it? Little Bluestem, also known as Schizachyrium scoparium, is a highly ornamental native prairie grass.

Native to where?  It is native to most of the contiguous United States.

Hardiness Zone: Plants are hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.

What does it look like? It grows to become an upright, roundish mound of soft, bluish-green or grayish-green blades. Little Bluestem reaches a height of 3 feet by autumn, when it turns a striking reddish-bronze, bearing illuminated tufted seeds.

Bloom Time: In July, it initiates flowering stalks, which reach 4 to 5 feet in height.

Growth Habit: Little Blue Stem is a species of bunchgrass, which grow as singular plants in clumps, tufts, hummocks, or bunches, rather than forming a sod or lawn. The rigid clumps can withstand snow and rain, allowing the reddish grass stems to remain upright for most of the winter.

Growing Conditions: This prairie grass excels in dry sandy soils. It is not recommended for damp sites or heavy clay soils.

Environmental Benefits: Little Bluestem is a host plant for numerous skipper butterflies including the Cobweb Skipper, Dusted Skipper, Ottoe Skipper, Delaware Skipper, Crossline Skipper and Swarthy Skipper.


Image Sources:

Public Domain,

By Montrealais - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

Little Bluestem

  • Plant Pickup Day is Saturday, May 18 at Nanny Park, corner of 5th Street and Oak Street in Baraboo, from 9 am to 12 pm. 

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