Schizachyrium scoparium, commonly called little bluestem, is native to prairies, fields, clearings, hills, limestone meadows, roadsides, waste areas, and open woods from Alberta to Quebec 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 typically matures to 2-4' (less frequently to 5') tall. It features upright clumps of slender, flat, linear green leaves (to 1/4 "wide).
Each leaf has a tinge of blue at the base. Purplish-bronze flowers appear in 3" long racemes on branched stems rising above the foliage in August. Flowers become followed by clusters of fluffy, silvery-white seed heads, which are attractive and often persist into winter. Many consider this grass's most outstanding ornamental feature to be its bronze-orange fall foliage color.
On average, it is quickly grown, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates many soil conditions, including clay soils and occasional inundation, and performs well in poor soils. Good drought resistance once established and tolerates high heat and humidity. Cut to the ground in late winter to early spring.
Light: Full sun
Water: Low, Moderate
Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Origin: Eastern North America