Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blaze' - Blaze Little Bluestem

aka Andropogon scoparius

The same applies to Little bluestem 'Blaze' as applies to Schizachyrium scoparium, the species. It is great massed and sways beautifully in a breeze. It also makes an excellent transition plant between the garden and a natural field or meadow. The tiny flowers are spectacular when backlit.

The fine foliage and distinctive upright flowers pass through an array of colour changes in the autumn after frost.

Description: warm season; clump forming
Foliage is grey-green; 7mm (1/4") wide; 50-100 cm (20-40") in height
Flowers late July to Sept; 100-120 cm (40-48') tall

Ideal conditions: full sun; well drained soil; excessive moisture and fertile soil will cause the tall flower stems to fall over

Coldest zone: 3 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Partner with: Scrophularia, Deschampsia 'Pixie Fountain', Panicum amarum 'Dewey Blue'

Season of interest: August to winter

Native to: species is native to the prairies and open woods, dry fields and hills of North America, from Quebec to Alberta and south to Arizona and Florida

Drought tolerance rating: 2 (water to root depth once every 2 weeks); further info

Recommended spacing between plants: 45-90 cm (18-36") why such a difference?

When to divide: when it shows signs of life in the spring, continuing until the new growth is about 12" tall; only in the spring (further info on dividing grasses)

When to plant or transplant: plant bare root plants only in late spring to early summer, when the soil is warm, about the same time you plant your bean or corn seeds. The roots will grow only in warm soil. Planting too early in the spring may cause the roots to rot. Similar story in the fall when the roots may not grow enough to establish before the cold and wet of winter, resulting in the demise of the plant.

When to cut back: before the new growth starts to appear, but after the cold weather is over. Cut back to about 3-4" from the crown of the plant.

Pronounced: Schizachyrium (skits-ah-KEER-ee-um) scoparium (skoh-PAIR-ee-um)

Menu of ornamental grasses

Compare Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blaze' to our other grasses in this handy chart.


Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blaze'

from the USDA website: states and provinces
where Schizachyrium scoparium is native