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Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in northern Florida.

Description: Medium herbaceous grass.

Dimensions: About 1-2 feet in height; up to 6 feet in flower. Spreading from underground stems (rhizomes) and forming small patches broader than tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Widespread in North America (including Mexico) south to South Florida, at least as far south as Palm Beach and Lee counties.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pinelands

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Brownish inflorescence.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy inflorescence.

Flowering Season: Summer-fall.

Fruit: Inconspicuous caryopsis.

Wildlife and Ecology: Valuable source of seeds for birds.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed and division.

Comments: Taxonomy: some authors place S. rhizomatum into synonomy here.

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Schizachyrium scoparium available from:

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