|Monday Melange: Little Bluestem|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Monday, 21 May 2012|
Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) formerly (Andropogon scoparius) is the quintessential old field and tall grass prairie grass. Prized for its golden-bronze foliage in autumn, if you’re looking for a native ornamental grass for the garden, then little bluestem is a good choice. Little bluestem is a member of the grass plant family (Poaceae) and is hardy between USDA plant zones 3 and 10.
Little bluestem grows to a height of 2 to 4 feet tall in upright clumps. The attractive 3-inch long reddish-bronze flowers bloom above the foliage in August and are followed by fluffy white seedheads. Like many ornamental grasses, also provides winter interest. If using little bluestem as an accent in the garden it should be planted in clumps of 3 to 5 plants.
Since its native habitat is open fields, little bluestem prefers full sun; however, it will tolerate some shade such as dappled sunlight in woodlands or at the edges of open woods for instance. It is easily grown from seed, especially for mass quantities such as recreating an old field habitat or prairie, and will germinate in warm soil that is well drained and of medium moisture content. It is also available as a bare root plan.
Photo source: www.prairiemoon.com