Schizachyrium scoparium 'MinnblueA' BLUE HEAVEN
Common Name: little bluestem
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: August to February
Bloom Description: Reddish-brown
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions. Tolerates clay soils. Performs well in poor soils. Good drought resistance once established. Tolerates high heat and humidity. Cut to the ground in late winter to early spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Schizachyrium scoparium, commonly called little bluestem grass, is native to prairies, fields, clearings, hills, limestone glades and open woods from Alberta to Quebec south to Arizona and Florida. This species was one of the dominant grasses of the tallgrass prairie. 'MinnblueA', commonly marketed under the trade name of BLUE HEAVEN, is a little bluestem cultivar that is noted for its blue-gray foliage, burgundy-red fall color and narrow upright plant form. It typically grows in a clump to 2-4’ tall. Erect, broom-like clumps of slender, flat, linear leaves (1/4” wide) emerge light blue in spring, darken to blue-gray in summer, acquire purple highlights in late summer before turning burgundy red with pink and purple tones in fall. In July-August, flower stems rise higher than the foliage clump bearing small reddish-brown flowers. Flowers give way to seed heads fringed with showy, silvery-white hairs. Seed heads may persist into winter. Foliage eventually fades to beige in winter. BLUE HEAVEN was introduced by the University of Minnesota at St. Paul, Minnesota. U. S. Plant Patent PP17,310 was issued on December 26, 2006.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Ornamental grass for borders, cottage gardens, wild gardens, wood margins, meadows or prairie-like settings. Group or mass. A good low-maintenance selection for sun-baked areas.