Little Bluestem is one of the most widespread and recognizable of our native U.S. wild grasses. This medium size erect clump-forming grass is valued for its outstanding green to blue-green summer foliage which is followed in autumn by rich browns, often flushed orange, red or bronzish purple. The flowering and fruiting effects are secondary on this species to its handsome foliage colors. Plants are adapted to a range of exposures and sites as long as they are mostly sunny and the soils are well drained. This species is found throughout Central and Eastern North America. It is becoming more popular in cultivated gardens and as always is a first rate naturalizing plant for meadows, wildscapes, and transition landscapes.
Plant Habit or Use:
Perennial, groundcover, grasses
sun, partial sun
Off white to dirty white; in sparse loose irregular short racemets off the central axis of the flower stalk.
Awned seeds resulting in fluffy gray-white to silvery racemes widely spaced on the central axis.
2 ft to 3 ft (5 ft)
18 inch to 36 inch
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown
- Heat Tolerance: Non-Defined Heat Tolerance
- Water Requirements: Non-Defined Water Use
- Soil Requirements: Non-Defined Soil Requirements
- Pest Tolerance: Non-Defined Pest Resistance
- Fertility Requirements: Non-Defined Fertility Requirements
USDA Hardiness Zones:
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains• Region B - North and Central Texas• Region C - Northeast and East Texas• Region D - West Texas• Region E - Upper Rio Grande• Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast• Region G - Southeast Texas• Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Where well adapted, plants may reseed. Avoid mowing or over grazing as all that is required is removal of old foliage prior to spring growth to keep plants neat.