Schizachyrium scoparium Little Bluestem Grass
2022 Perennial Plant Association Perennial Plant Of The Year
A beloved Missouri native grass, Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, forms upright clumps of slender green leaves that are tinged blue at the base. Purplish flowers appear in 3′ long racemes in August. Fluffy, silvery-white seed heads follow and persist into winter. In fall, its foliage turns an outstanding bronze-orange.
Little Bluestem and its hybrids have won the prestigious Perennial Plant Association Perennial Of The Year award for their outstanding qualities. The Perennial Plant Association reports:
Summer through fall, the slender leaves and stems of little bluestem are an ever-changing kaleidoscope of gray-green, blue, pink, purple, copper, mahogany, red, and orange tones. Wispy silver-white seed heads sparkle in autumn sunlight and coppery brown leaves persist through winter. Little bluestem is a tough and dependable clumping grass that blends well with perennials such as asters, sedums, coneflowers, and other grasses. Native grasses play their part in the pollinator story too. Little bluestem is a larval host for a variety of butterflies and moths such as crossline skipper, Dakota skipper, and Ottoe skipper.
Native to a broad swath of North America, it was one of the dominant grasses of the vast tallgrass prairies. In average to lean, well-drained soils, stems will remain upright but can flop easily if conditions are too rich or moist. Cultivars have been selected for shorter plants, enhanced leaf colors, and stronger stems. Little bluestem’s spikiness complements native and non-native perennials alike. An easy fit for mass plantings or meadows, it is just as brilliant in traditional borders, gravel gardens, and green roofs.
Easy to grow in full sun and average to poor soil. Deer resistant.
Plant in full sun.
Little Blue Stem Schizachyrium scoparium and its hybrids have won the prestigious award the 2022 Perennial of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association. The Perennial Plant Association is a group composed of growers, retailers, landscape designers and contractors, educators, and others that are professionally involved in the herbaceous perennial industry.