Schizachyrium scoparium

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Schizachyrium scoparium
Andropogon scoparius.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Tribe: Andropogoneae
Genus: Schizachyrium
Species: S. scoparium
Binomial name
Schizachyrium scoparium
(Michx.) Nash

Andropogon scoparius Michx.[1]

Schizachyrium scoparium, commonly known as little bluestem or beard grass, is a North American prairie grass. Little bluestem is a perennial bunchgrass and is prominent in tallgrass prairie, along with big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). It is a warm-season species, meaning it employs the C4 photosynthetic pathway.[clarification needed]

Little bluestem grows to a typical height of 3 feet. Although it has a blue tint in the spring, in fall, its predominant color is more red, which color it may retain throughout winter into spring. The plant prefers well-drained sunny sites.[2] One variety, var. littorale, is native to the eastern and southern coastal strip of the United States, as well as the shores of the Great Lakes. It is adapted to sand dune habitat. It is sometimes considered a separate species, S. littorale.[3][4]


Little bluestem is the official state grass of Nebraska and Kansas.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Taxon: Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2003-05-22. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  2. ^ Schillo, Rebecca (2011). Nina Cummings, ed. Native Landscaping Takes Root in Chicago. p. 13. 
  3. ^ Schizachyrium littorale. USDA NRCS Plant Fact Sheet.
  4. ^ Schizachyrium littorale. Grass Manual Treatment.
  5. ^ Koranda, Jeannine (6 April 2010), "Kansas has a new state grass", Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kansas), retrieved 13 April 2010 
  6. ^ Klepper, David (6 April 2010), "Little Bluestem gets a page in the statute book", Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), retrieved 13 April 2010 

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