Colorado Plant Database

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LITTLE BLUESTEM - Schizachyrium scoparium

Copyright:James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service,

Scientific Name: Schizachyrium scoparium
Derivation: Greek: schizein = to split; achyron = chaff.
Family: Grass - Poaceae
Species Characteristics: feathery seedheads; reddish fall color.
Mature Height: 1 to 4 feet.
Mature Spread: 12 to 18 inches.
Fruit Type: caryopsis or grain (small, dry, indehiscent - does not open upon maturity - fruit with a thin wall surrounding and fused to a single seed).
Leaf Type: simple (not divided into similar parts).
Leaf/Leaflet Shape: linear (flat and narrow with parallel margins).
Origin: native
Frequency: common
Growth Form: bunch grass
Life Cycle: perennial
Class: angiosperm (plant with covered seed).
SubClass: monocot (plants with one seed leaf and parallel veins).
Season of Bloom: mid-summer (July).
Life Zone: foothills
Habitat: outwash mesas and piedmont valleys at 3,500 to 7,500 feet elevation.
Eco. Relationships: high forage value; wind pollinated; grasses are host plants for many satyr and skipper butterflies.

Origin: native

Availability: commonly available.
Landscaping Use: some varieties with ornamental qualitys, sandy soil stabilization, specimen or mass planting, perennial border, rockery, prairie or wildflower meadow..
Moisture Requirement: drought tolerant.
Light Requirement: open
Soil Requirement: various, fine to coarse texture; prefers well-drained, sandy and medium texture; pH 5.0 to 8.4, low fertility; intolerant of wetland or subirrigated soils or saline conditions; tolerant of calcareous conditions.
Landscaping Cultivar: 'Blaze' and 'The Blues'


Version: 3.0.0      Release Date: August 2015       ©2015 Jefferson County ITS

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