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Little Bluestem

Little bluestem clump

Little Bluestem
(Schizachyrium scoparium)


  • 2 to 3 feet


  • August to October


  • Native
  • Grass


  • Full sun (best) to part shade

Soil moisture:

  • Dry to medium

Provides food for:

  • Caterpillars (foliage)
  • Songbirds (seeds, caterpillars and other insects)


  • Little bluestem is what’s called a bunch grass which means it forms clumps instead of a solid mat like the turf grass in your yard.
  • The foliage is blue-green in spring and reddish-brown in fall and winter.
  • Little bluestem is a warm season grass which means that most of its growth occurs during summer and early fall.
  • The vegetation remains standing throughout the winter which provides shelter to songbirds and other small wildlife.
  • Bumble bee queens will sometimes crawl into the vegetation at the base of the clump to overwinter.
  • Deer resistant

Native Range:

USDA Range Map for little bluestem
Map credit: USDA Plants Database

Relevant Backyard Ecology Resources: