Schizachyrium scoparium 'Prairie Blues'

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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
 Common Name: Grass-Ornamental
Common Name (Alternative): Little Bluestem

Little Bluestem is a native prairie grass that is said to have originated in Missouri. It can be found in the wild as far north as Quebec, east to Maine, south to Florida, and west to Arizona. Once one of the most characteristic grasses of American tallgrass praries, Little Bluestem is now the official state grass of Nebraska.

'Prairie Blues' is an improved selection of the native bluestem. It offers a more consistent grey-blue foliage color that is quite striking in the garden. The narrow, upright leaves take on pinkish orange tones in the fall. Fluffy silver seed heads appear in late summer and last well into fall.

Schizachyrium is a great choice if you are looking to restore an eroded site, or for a plant that will grow in hot, dry areas where other plants have a hard time surviving.

Origin: Native Cultivar


  3 Feet
  18 Inches
Flower Color:
  White Shades
Foliage Color:
  Blue shades
Hardiness Zone:
Find Your Zone
Sun or Shade?:
  Full sun (> 6 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
  Low water needs
  Average water needs
Need critter resistant plants?:
  Deer resistant
How fast should it grow?:
When should it bloom?:
  Late summer
  Early fall
Looking for seasonal interest?:
  Attractive Seed Heads
  Fall Color
How's your soil?:
  Average Soil
  Fertile Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Acidic Soil (pH < 7.0)
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
  Rain Garden


Border plants
Drought Tolerant
Mass Planting
Grown for attractive foliage
Easy to grow
Erosion control

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

This grass is terrific in a border or meadow setting. It needs full sun and is tolerant of heat and humidity. Schizachyrium can grow in either acidic or alkaline soils, and can tolerate a range of moisture conditions including average to extremely dry. It does not need to be fertilized. It's a good idea to cut this grass back to ground level in late fall in order to have a sturdier plant the coming year.


Common/Botanical Name
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Common Name: Gayfeather
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Artemisia schmidtiana 'Silver Mound'
Common Name: Silver Mound Artemesia
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Verbascum 'Plum Smokey' PP16156 COPF
Common Name: Mullein
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Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'
Common Name: Butterfly Bush
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Chrysanthemum 'Samba'
Common Name: Mum-Hardy Garden
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While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.