Little Bluestem

January 3, 2022

Little Bluestem

Characteristics

  • Height/Spread: 24-48 inches tall x 18-24 inches wide (varies by cultivar)
  • Habit/Form: Upright, clump forming
  • Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Dry to medium, well-drained

Ornamental Value

Our first plant of the month for 2022 has been this year's selection for the Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association. One of the dominant grass species in the North American tallgrass prairie Little Bluestem makes a big statement in the naturalized garden. The upright blades of grass are slender and clump forming providing a display of colors throughout the seasons. Starting with blue-green, to blue-gray, purple and pink hues in the summer months to a splendid copper painted with mahogany, red, and orange in the fall and winter months Little Bluestem does not disappoint. The feathery white seed heads appear in the fall, sparkling under the autumn sunlight all the while providing food source to the local songbird. As well as serving the birds with sustenance, Little Bluestem also plays host to many insects, butterflies, and moths.

A sturdy and reliable grass, Little Bluestem is low-maintenance and tolerant of poor soil conditions. It performs best in prairie-style landscapes mixed in among perennials such as Aster, Coneflowers, Calamintha, and other grasses.

Landscape Uses

Rock Gardens, Meadows, Prairie-style gardens, and naturalized areas. Best in groupings or massings.

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