Skip to main content

Bolivar Naturally

Little Bluestem

Schizachyrium scoparium

Family: (Poaceae) Grasses

Habitat: Prairies

Height: 3-5 ft.

Bloom Period: August - October

Description: The common name refers not only to its small stature but also to its bluish-green stem color as it first emerges in the spring. The stems turn an eye-catching coppery-red later in the fall. As with most upland native prairie species, Little Bluestem thrives best in a sunny, well-drained site.This grass is one of our many prairie bunchgrasses that grow in lush, green clumps all summer, blooming from late August through October. It has multiple flowering stems that branch into fuzzy C-shaped seed spikes that are a valuable food source for birds and other wildlife.

The Wildlife Connection: The thick clumps of basal leaves offer nesting and predator protection sites for grassland birds year round. It is also a larval food source for many species of butterflies, including the swarthy skipper and little wood satyr.

Propagation Tips: Grows easily from seed. Collect seed in November.

Little Bluestem
Little Bluestem

Flo Hannah

Little Bluestem
Little Bluestem

Mike Haddock, Kansas State University

  • Citgo
  • BP
  • Chevron Retiree Association
  • Land Sea & Sky
  • Shell Oil Company Foundation
  • Strabo Tours
  • Tropical Birding
Close