Schizachyrium Scoparium, also known as Little Bluestem, is a tall grass that thrives in prairie environments ranging from Canada to Mexico. It also happens to be Studio Outside Associate Brian Halsell’s favorite plant.
What exactly makes this plant unique?
“It’s drought tolerant, a good erosion control plant, a Texas native and provides an interesting look for up to 11 months out of the year,” Halsell said.
Halsell specifically appreciates the many benefits to wildlife including food, cover and nesting areas. Cattle and wild animals graze the plant, which provides seeds to birds and small mammals. In addition, the plant also hosts several skipper butterflies.
The grass is also an eye-catching plant that changes appearance with the seasons. In full sun, Little Bluestem turns an icy blue in the summer and a rust to mahogany in the fall and winter. Also, the complete seed heads, or inflorescence of the plant, showcase a striking cotton tufted appearance in the beginning of fall.
Its look gives the grass a distinctive quality; however, Little Bluestem is not alone in occupying prairie landscapes. It is one of the big four grasses of the Texas Blackland Prairie, the ecoregion where Dallas resides. Indiangrass, Big Bluestem and Switchgrass are the other grasses in the big four.