Thursday, 28 April 2011

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem) Ornamental Grass at Lovegrass Farm

Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem) in the Fall
 Schizachyrium (skits-ah-KEER-ee-um) scoparium (skoh-PAIR-ee-um) or Little bluestem (much easier to say isn't it!)  is one of my Very Favorite Grasses.  A Truly Low Maintenance Plant, it does best in low nutrient soil and dry conditions!  Give it too much nutrients or water and it will flop over! 

Little bluestem in July
 The foliage of Little bluestem can vary in color from green to gray-blue in its warm season growth period.  The gray-blue plants develop red-purple colors on the stems.  Its fine foliage and flowers pass through an array of color changes after frost in the Fall, from copper-orange to purple-red depending on the initial foliage color.  Little bluestem requires Full Sun for upright growth of  2 - 4 ft. or 60 - 120 cm. and a mature width of 2 ft. or 60 cm.  It looks great in perennial borders, or naturalized grass 'drifts' and is perfect as a meadow plant!

Little bluestem in September
 Little bluestem creates a really striking effect as the late fall sun shines through the fluffy white seed heads.  It's worth placing this grass so that the setting sun is behind it.  This is something to think about with placement of a lot of Ornamental grasses! 

Little Bluestem in the Fall and Winter
 A native to prairies and dry fields of North America  Birds will appreciate the winter food they find in the seed heads. 

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