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Schizachyrium scoparium

Common Name(s):
Little bluestem, Prairie beard grass, Prairie beardgrass
Categories:
Native Plants, Ornamental Grass, Perennials
Comment:

A native ornamental grass with attractive blue-green foliage in the Poaceae family.  Purplish bronze seed heads and yellow-orange leaves make for great fall intrest in the landscape.  It is attractive planted en masse and would make an excellent addtion to a rain garden. It preforms best in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun.  However it does tolerate a wide range of soil conditions including infertility and clay.  It has drought resistance once established. It is well-adapted to southern climates as it tolerates high heat and humidity. Cut back to the ground in early spring to promote new attractive growth.

Little Bluestem is a perennial, warm-season grass that may grow to 5 feet. 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.

Regions: Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Seasons of Interest:

     Leaves: Summer/Fall/Winter; Bloom: Late Summer/Fall; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall/Winter

Wildlife Value: Deer resistance is high. Provides excellent cover year round. Host plant for Common Wood-Nymph and various skipper species of butterfly. Seeds are eaten by songbirds and small mammals.

Insects, Diseses and Other Plant Problems:  This plant suffers with too much mulch near the crown.

Season:
Summer, Fall, Winter
Light:
Full to part sun
Height:
2-5 ft.
Flower Color:
N/A
Zones:
3-9
Form:
Upright clump
Propagation:
Seed
Soil:
Tolerates a wide range
Inflorescence:
Purplish bronze
Origin:
USA
Tags:
coastal, cpp, clay, heat tolerant, rain garden, highly beneficial coastal plants, ncemgva2018, fall color, birds, pollinator, wildlife, fall interest, cottage garden, boarder, winter interest, butterflies

NCCES plant id: 3163

Schizachyrium scoparius Form
Montrealais, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Schizachyrium scoparius Inflorescence
Joshua Mayer, CC-BY-SA-2.0 DE
Schizachyrium scoparius Orange-yellow fall color. This photo was taken in December.
Tom Potterfield, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0