Scientific NameSchizachyrium scoparium
It is a warm-season, bunch type grass that grows from 1 to 3 ft in height
Leaf blades are flat, often rolled and can be smooth to hairy. Leaves are 2 to 12 inches long, 1.5-6mm wide, pointed with sheaths keeled and usually smooth. Ligule is a fringed membrane 0.5-2.5 mm long.
It gets its name from the bluish color of the stem bases in the spring. In the fall, the plants turn reddish-tan with cotton-tufted seedheads.
Flower Seed Head
The seedheads are racemes found singly, in pairs or in groups, and are produced in early fall. Flowers are followed by clusters of fluffy, silvery white seed heads.
Seeds have a finger-like shape resembling a turkey foot.
Typically occurs on dry upland sites, hilltops, and prairies. It is adapted to many different soil types ranging from sandy to clay-loam textures but struggled in wetland areas. Native to U.S. and Canada. Little bluestem is found throughout Canada and the U.S. except Nevada and Washington. Little bluestem is used as a forage grass, ornamental grass and prairie restoration grass.
Leaf Hair on Upper Surface
folded in bud
Mature Leaf Width
less than 5 mm