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Little Bluestem

Scientific name: Schizachyrium scoparium

Schizachyrium scoparium, commonly called little bluestem, is native to fields, clearings, hills, roadsides, and open woods from Alberta to Quebec, and south to Florida.


Features upright clumps of slender, flat, linear green leaves (to 1/4 inch wide), with each leaf having a tinge of blue at the base.


Purplish-bronze flowers appear in 3 inch long racemes on branched stems rising above the foliage in August. Flowers are followed by clusters of fluffy, silvery-white seed heads which are attractive and often persist into winter.

Blooming Season

Summer to Fall.

Fun Facts

Many consider the most outstanding ornamental feature of this grass to be its bronze-orange fall foliage color.


Easily grown in average, dry to medium moist, well-drained soil in full sun.. Deer and drought tolerant. Little bluestem can be seen throughout the meadows at the Ward Pound Ridge reservation.

Similar Species

Indian grass and switchgrass are other native grasses.

Human Connections

This is easily grown in your own garden. It is best to start with plugs, rather than seeds.

How You Can Help

Plant native grasses in your garden for the beauty and wildlife they attract. They are low maintenance and disease resistant.

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