Little bluestem

Schizachyrium scoparium var. frequens



This bunchgrass has flattened sheaths, blades and stems. The plant is purplish to bluish green in summer and turns orangish red in winter. The leaf sheath has a ligule. The inflorescence has small, fuzzy seeds with a twisted awn; they are partially enclosed in a leaf sheath. Seeds mature in the fall.

Little bluestem is a perennial, warm-season, native - 24 to 48 inches tall.

Good grazing for livestock. Poor grazing for wildlife, but may provide nesting sites for ground-nesting birds.


Grows on upland and bottomland sites and is a dominant grass on tallgrass prairies. Decreases with heavy grazing.