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The Blues Bluestem

Category:

The Blues Bluestem is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The antique red seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from early fall to late winter. Its attractive grassy leaves are powder blue in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous coppery-bronze in the fall. It has masses of beautiful spikes of light green flowers rising above the foliage in late summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The brick red stems are very colorful and add to the overall interest of the plant.

Characteristics

Species:
scoparium
Other Species Names:
Little Bluestem
Average Landscape Height:
24 inches (32 inches with the flowers)
Average Landscape Width:
18 inches
Genus:
Schizachyrium
Cultivar:
The Blues
Branching:
herbaceous
Plant Form:
upright spreading
Canopy:
low
Growth Rate:
medium
Pruning:
late winter pruning
Flower Color:
light green
Flower Period:
in late summer
Summer Foliage Color:
powder blue
Fall Color:
copper
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Light:
full sun
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Minimum Moisture:
dry
Pollution Tolerance:
medium

Ornamental Features

The Blues Bluestem is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The antique red seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from early fall to late winter. Its attractive grassy leaves are powder blue in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous coppery-bronze in the fall. It has masses of beautiful spikes of light green flowers rising above the foliage in late summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The brick red stems are very colorful and add to the overall interest of the plant.

Landscape Attributes

The Blues Bluestem is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

Planting & Growing

The Blues Bluestem will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity extending to 32 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 18 inches. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

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