FutureStarr

Little bluestem grass

Little bluestem grass

Little bluestem grass

Little bluestem grass is a hardy perennial warm-season grass native to North America. This clumped perennial grass reaches 2 to 10 feet in height, forms an attractive blue-green carpet, and is an excellent choice for habitat restoration. Its low mounding habit, wide color spectrum, and other plant diversity adds interest to the lawn. Its "Kentucky Blue" variety is often used in landscaping because of its long-lasting turf colors.This mid-prairie species gets its name from the bluish color of the stem bases in the spring, but most striking is the plant's reddish-tan color in fall, persisting through winter snows. The seeds, fuzzy white at maturity, are of particular value to small birds in winter. A related species, Big Bluestem or Turkeyfoot (Andropogon gerardii), has finger-like seed heads that somewhat resemble a turkey's foot. It reaches a height of 12 feet in favorable bottomland sites and is also one of the East's most important native prairie grasses.

Plant

Conditions Comments: Little bluestem is wonderful planted en masse. The visual dynamics it provides range from blue-green in late summer to golden with cotton-tufted seedheads in winter. It readily reseeds so little bluestem is not recommended for small gardens. Little bluestem is tolerant of a wide range of soils but will not tolerate wetlands or sub-irrigated sites.Little Bluestem is an excellent plant for wildlife. Little Bluestem serves as the larval host for several skipper species including the Dusted Skipper, Cobweb Skipper, Ottoe Skipper, Indian Skipper, Swarthy Skipper, and the Crossline Skipper. Other insects that feed on Little Bluestem include grasshoppers, Prairie Walkingsticks, the leaf-mining beetles, thrips, spittlebugs, and leafhoppers. The seeds of this grass are eaten by songbirds. Little bluestem provides necessary overwintering habitat and resources for many insects and birds. Female bumble bee queens nest at the base of bunch grasses, like Little Bluestem, where they are protected until they emerge in the Spring.

A Prairie Moon • August 9 Hi Lucy, This grass usually stays upright and looks absolutely beautiful in the winter! Searching "winter interest" on our website brings up a list of plants that we think look nice in the winter, including Little Bluestem!Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control. (Source:www.prairiemoon.com)

 

 

Related Articles