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Prairie Beardgrass Schizachyrium scoparium

Other Common Name(s):

Description

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 interest in the landscape.  It is attractive planted en masse and would make an excellent addition to a rain garden. It performs 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.

Seasons of Interest:

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

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

Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#fall color#birds#pollinators#heat tolerant#wildlife plant#cover plant#low maintenance#winter interest#cottage garden#dry soil#air pollution tolerant#black walnut#clay#rocky soil#coastal#mammals#border#ncemgva2018#food source#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#humidity#deer resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#fall color#birds#pollinators#heat tolerant#wildlife plant#cover plant#low maintenance#winter interest#cottage garden#dry soil#air pollution tolerant#black walnut#clay#rocky soil#coastal#mammals#border#ncemgva2018#food source#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#humidity#deer resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Schizachyrium
    Species:
    scoparium
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Wildlife Value:
    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.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer resistance is high.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grass
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Description:
    Purple-bronze seed heads give excellent fall and winter interest.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Purple-bronze racemes form above the clump of leaves and appear in August
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Orange
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Filiform
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    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.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Humidity
    Pollution