Little Bluestem

little bluestem

Schizachyrium scoparium

Plant Characteristics:

  • Duration: Perennial
  • Habit: Grass/Grass-like
  • Root type: Fibrous 
  • Size class: 3-6ft
  • Native Habitat: Woodlands’ edge, Opening, Hillsides, Slopes, Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannas 
  • Bloom time: June-December

Growing Conditions 

  • Light:
    • Sun, Partial Shade
  • Soil:
    • Moisture: Dry
    • CaCO3 Tol: High
    • Drought Tol: High 
    • Description: Well-drained soil. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based
  • Water Use;
    •  Low
  • Condition comments:
    • Best planted en mass
    • The visual dynamics it provides range from blue-green in late summer to golden with cotton-tufted seed heads in winter
    • It readily reseeds so little bluestem is not recommended for small gardens


  • Ornamental: Best in clumps, fall conspicuous 
  • Use by wildlife: Nesting material, ground cover, Seeds-Small mammals, Seeds-granivorous birds, graze 
  • Deer resistant
  • Attracts butterflies and birds 
  • Interesting flower and foliage 
  • Use as nesting material for native bees

Additional Comments: 

  • Tolerant of a wide range of soils but will not tolerate wetlands or sub-irrigated sites.