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Schizachyrium scoparium

Little Bluestem

Schizachyrium scoparium, Little bluestem, is a warm season, clump forming plant which prefers full sun and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions. Its green foliage grows 4' tall and flowers from July to September. The purplish/bronze flowers of Schizachyrium scoparium rise above the foliage in August resulting in brilliant clusters of fluffy silvery-white seed heads which may persist into winter. Little bluestem adds a bronze-orange fall foliage color that gives a nice presentation when planted in masses. Great for dry banks of stormwater basins.

  • »  Warm season
  • »  Clumping
  • »  Fall color
  • »  Moist habitat

Additional Information
Color Reddish Brown
Detailed Description for Schizachyrium

Similar to Andropogon virginicus, Schizachyrium scoparium is commonly found in open meadows and along roadsides. However, they are much more adaptable to soil type and moisture levels, handling clay, loam, sandy, or rocky soils. Furthermore, Schizachyrium scoparium is tolerant of average to arid soils, various soil pH’s, black walnut, drought, deer, heat, humidity, and pollution. That being said, Schizachyrium scoparium grows best within full sun and drier soils, which helps them stand upright. Every fall, they begin to change color from a green to vibrant purple-red. They are slightly shorter than Andropogon virginicus and have a more robust clumping habit, with delicate and smaller leaves and seeds. Schizachyrium scoparium is the larval host for the wood nymph butterfly cater- pillar, and the seedheads are essential winter food for songbirds and aid in winter habitat for other small mammals.