08 August 2016

Little Bluestem is Schizachyrium scoparium

Little Bluestem grass is one native plant that still looks good in the August garden. 

Hardy in zone 2 to 9. Prefers full sun but will tolerate afternoon shade. 
Little Bluestem - fall

Stems are copper colors in the fall. Skippers raise their young on the plants and birds eat the seeds in the winter. 

Prune in the spring

Benjamin Vogt says about Little Bluestem, "Grasses flower too, and mixing grasses with perennial flowers provides good habitat for wildlife and creates healthier gardens that require less maintenance. Little bluestem starts sporting its glittery seeds in August, which can last through most of the winter. It’s drought-tolerant and reaches 3 to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide."

Heather Holm points out, "It thrives in poor soil and provides food and shelter for wildlife." ... "This charming grass does not lack admirable attributes; beyond the fantastic foliage color and compact, upright form, it also provides food and shelter for wildlife. The foliage of little bluestem is consumed by the caterpillars of many skipper butterflies, and birds feed on the seeds throughout the winter. Take pleasure in the fact that when you plant little bluestem, you are providing a valuable plant for wildlife and at the same time getting a graceful native grass that is easy to care for."

"This native grass is one of the shorter prairie grasses, reaching heights of approximately 3 feet. Its upright, linear form and graceful foliage make it suitable for any formal or informal naturalized planting. For the best effect, mass many plants together to highlight the foliage color and form. Little bluestem rarely flops, and can therefore be sited next to delicate flowering perennials."


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