Browse the curated collection and add your voice! 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. Clumping plants produce half-inch wide leaves on upright stems in a unique light blue coloring. Valuable plant for meadow and prairie gardens. 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. Grows in savannahs in moist sandy, sandy loam or clay soil. Densely mounded, Little Bluestem reaches … Our trees. Get expert help from The Morton Arboretum Plant Clinic. Habitat. Fruits are available July-November. Bluestems, Indiangrass, and switchgrass are the most common native warm-season grasses sown in Pennsylvania. 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. Schizachyrium is tough and adaptable, tolerant of a range of moisture conditions from average to nearly arid. This is a larval host plant that supports various skipper larvae and Common Wood-Nymph (Cercyonis pegala) which have one brood from late May to October. This warm-season grass’ native prairie habitat has almost disappeared, but don’t worry. It is shorter than many prairie grasses, growing only 2 to 4 feet tall. KR bluestem is common throughout Texas (Fig. Explore this online platform for Chicago-area residents to share their favorite stories about trees. A native ornamental grass (Poaceae) with attractive blue-green foliage. Primary growth occurs from mid spring through summer, reaching maximum height in July. Go to list of cultivars. The King Ranch Bluestem is a bunchgrass that grows in tufts with erect or spreading culms 18-48 inches tall. • Kleberg bluestem has hairy stem joints (nodes) and more leaf material than does KR bluestem. Stop by, email, or call. Can be a co-dominant grass with little bluestem. Orange-yellow fall color. Little bluestem, a vigorous native prairie grass, grows throughout the Great Plains and beyond. Bunchgrass occasionally with short rhizomes. This photo was taken in December. This plant works well mixed into other native plant arrangements and tends to behave better than switchgrass, spreading much more slowly. Eastern gamagrass. Schizachyrium scoparium (syn. 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. This native, cool-season grass grows from 1 to 2 ½ feet tall. The height will vary from one foot up to three … 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. This is a selection from the Chicagoland  Grows™ introduction program. NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to Bush sunflower . use escape to move to top level menu parent. There are many cultivars available, which means it can be difficult to find the straight species in trade. The grass is an important native hay and forage grass. Purple-bronze racemes form above the clump of leaves and appear in August. Drought tolerant, it requires very little care and is virtually pest and disease free. Little bluestem can be found across most of the United States, where it is native, but it is particularly common in the Great Plains states of Kansas and Oklahoma. " Â. 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. Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menus and submenus. Little Bluestem is a highly ornamental native grass prized for its blue-green leaf color and upright form. Switchgrass. In central and western Nebraska it grows in bunches and is sometimes called "bunch grass." You can search, browse, and learn more about the plants in our living collections by visiting our BRAHMS website. Little bluestem is a perennial, warm-season, native - 24 to 48 inches tall. 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. Ornamental grasses have become very popular over the last several years. Images. A few ornamental grasses that you might consider planting in your landscape are Indian rice grass, blue grama grass, little bluestem, Indiangrass, and Miscanthus. The following menu has 3 levels. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), as its name implies, is smaller in stature than its fellow native of similar naming. Many warm-season grasses are deep rooted, long-lived perennials with considerable tolerance to relatively low pH, low fertility, and drought. 4), even in drier regions, and it grows well on rocky limestone hills and shallow or clay soils. Little Bluestem once dominated our tall and short grass prairies from Canada to Mexico. In some areas, it is also known as "beard grass." Leaves are flat, often folded along the midrib, 6–10 inches long, less than ¼-inch wide, and bluish-green through early Duration: Perennial. This plant has some cultivated varieties. Kleberg bluestem is typically found in Central Texas and in South Texas along the Gulf Coast (Fig. Seeds are eaten by songbirds and small mammals. The stems are naked at the top. 3), is air salinity tolerant and does best on loamy to clay Big bluestem . Have tree and plant questions? This is a warm season grass, so its most active growth occurs in summer.  It will remain standing in winter and can act as winter interest. The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) form along the spikes that held the flowers.  The fruit have a fluffy appearance due to white hairs. Use up and down arrow keys to explore within a submenu. form a strategic partnership called N.C. 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. Leaves: Summer/Fall/Winter; Bloom: Late Summer/Fall; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall/Winter. The foliage provides excellent color all season-long and creates the perfect backgrop for prairie flowers. However, it does tolerate a wide range of soil conditions including infertility and clay. It can be found from Canada to Mexico and from the east coast to the west coast. 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. Little Bluestem is a perennial, warm-season grass that may grow to 5 feet. Our communities. They establish quickly on disturbed soilsperfect for banks, slopes, and restorations. • Kleberg bluestem is typically found in Central Texas and in South Texas along the Gulf Coast (Fig. Flowers in late summer with very erect fine textured needle-like pikes. These grasses are adapted statewide although each may have (They dry well, by the way.) Illinois bundleflower. Native to eastern North America. Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day). It is found naturally in a wide range of moist to dry habitats. Cut back to the ground in early spring to promote new attractive growth. Stems 30–100 cm, often red or rust colored when mature; sheaths flattened and keeled. Little Bluestem A warm-season perennial grass that is used for forage, prairie restoration, highway right-a-ways, and wildlife habitat. Indiangrass. Deer resistant; Cut to the ground in late winter to early spring. Little Bluestem is used in low maintenance mixtures with other lower growing natives for recreational areas, golf courses, roadsides, and wildlife habitat. Little bluestem plant is a native grass to North America. Blooms from June-October. But almost everywhere that could be plowed has been plowed. It also occurs on limey subirrigated sites and in prairie fens. “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. It has blue-green foliage. In the spring, little bluestem can have crude protein levels higher than 20 percent. They also shine in meadows, prairi… Native: Introduced: Both: Absent/Unreported: Native, No County Data: ... little bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium var. Provides excellent cover year round. 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. But KR bluestem can also have hairy nodes, and the amount of its leaf material varies. Little Bluestem grows well on a variety of soil types, including Deep, shallow, sandy, fine textured, and rocky soils. So, no rain gardens! Each stem produces a loose, terminal seed head that is usually purplish. Leaves are thicker near the collar and the upper surface is covered with long, silky hairs. In fall plants turn a showy coppery orange overall. Little bluestem. Cut back to the ground in early spring to promote new attractive growth. Flowering occurs in late summer into early autumn.  The tiny, green to white flowers occur on spikes.  The flowers are wind pollinated. Building the urban forest for 2050. Because little bluestem is such an important prairie plant across all of … Purplish bronze seed heads and yellow-orange leaves make for great fall interest in the landscape. Some native forb species: Maximillian sunflower. It is prized for its small fluffy seed heads and good fall color. "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." 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. 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). We do not seem to have this in our living collection. Poor grazing for wildlife, but may provide nesting sites for ground-nesting birds. Stems turn a straw color when mature. Andropogon scoparius). Use up and down arrow keys to explore within a submenu. Plant Characteristics. This warm season bunch grass is native to 45 of the 50 states making it the most abundant of all native grasses. No serious pests.  May self seed, sometimes excessively. 3), is air salinity tolerant and does best on loamy to clay soils. Read on for little bluestem information so you can decide if this interesting plant is right for your landscape. Adaptation. It is found in areas receiving 10 to 60 inches of mean annual precipitation and plant hardiness zones 3 to 9. Little bluestem typically occurs on dry upland sites, especially on ridges, hilltops, and steep slopes. It is a prolific self-seeder and can become invasive with little bluestem in lawns a major competitor to traditional turf grass. It is the only native grass species that can be found in every Kansas county, as it is adapted to tallgrass, mixed, and shortgrass prairie ecosystems alike. Fair grazing for livestock and wildlife. Cooperative Extension, which staffs local offices in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 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 (Schizachyrium scoparium) Little bluestem is the dominant grass in the mixed grass or midgrass prairie. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status. 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. Jazz (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Jazz'):  2 to 3 feet tall with an upright habit; silvery blue foliage turns mauve purple in fall. Little bluestem grows in a wide range of soil types as long as they are not wet.  Tolerate of both alkaline and acid soils.  Good drought tolerance. It is found naturally in a wide range of moist to dry habitats. It is well-adapted to southern climates as it tolerates high heat and humidity. Little bluestem is a prairie grass native to Illinois. Adult Common Wood-Nymph butterflies feed on rotting fruit and flower nectar. Propagate by seed or division. 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. Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menus and submenus. Brownseed paspalum is a perennial, warm-season, native - 18 to 36 inches tall. Little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, is a North American prairie native found throughout the 48 contiguous states, except for the far western, coastal areas.As its name suggests, this perennial has silvery-blue stems (particularly at the base) and leaves, making it an attractive addition to the landscape. Little Bluestem is a perennial, warm-season grass that may grow to 5 feet. Read our Commitment to Diversity | Read our Privacy Statement. Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  This plant suffers from too much mulch near the crown. Outstanding eastern native meadow species. Noteworthy Characteristics. Some native grass species: Little bluestem. Within a submenu, use escape to move to top level menu parent. On several primary branches spikelets can be found, with a reddish-purple color, whether t… Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, is one of the three dominant species that make up our tall and short grass prairies. It performs best in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Little bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium Little bluestem is a warm-season perennial bunchgrass that grows 2–4 feet in height. 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. Vital species for reclamation and conservation. We grow one species of Schizachyrium, the North American native Schizachyrium scoparium, commonly known as Little Bluestem. One of the most attractive native grasses, and the state grass of Utah, is Indian rice grass. Use enter to activate. It grows well on uplands or lowlands over a wide range of well drained soils. Little bluestem is an upright grass that grows from 2 to 4 feet tall.  It is a clumping grass. It is attractive planted en masse and would make an excellent addition to a rain garden. The Morton Arboretum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on the generosity of members and donors. Leaves: blades 2–5 mm wide; ligule 1–3 mm long. Categories: December , February , Filter by Seeding Time , January , July , June , May , Native Grass N.C. Purple-bronze seed heads give excellent fall and winter interest. From top level menus, use escape to exit the menu. Engelmann daisy. Good grazing for livestock. Grasses are adaptable and can grow in poorer soils better than many other garden plants. 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. 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. Little bluestem and side oats grama (Bouteloua grama) are the two most common grasses of the Loess Hills in western Iowa. Fall color can also vary from orange to bronze to reddish.  The fall color is usually very good. Sideoats grama. There are many cultivars available, which means it can be difficult to find the straight species in trade. Cultivars are plants produced in cultivation by selective breeding or via vegetative propagation from wild plants identified to have desirable traits.". Our future. It is able to grow on both acidic and alkaline soils. Little bluestem grows 2 to 4 feet tall. Texas, … The foliage of this natural beauty adds a kaleidoscope of pastel colors in summer and coppery tones in fall. In fall, its foliage turns bronzy orange. It has drought resistance once established. Can grow in almost any soil as long as it drains well. Cultivation by selective breeding or via vegetative propagation from wild plants identified to have desirable traits..! Offices in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians vary orange. Sunlight a day ) a bunchgrass that grows in bunches and is sometimes ``. 18 to 36 inches tall on rotting fruit and flower nectar mid spring through summer, maximum! Schizachyrium is tough and adaptable, tolerant of a range of moisture conditions from average nearly... 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