Light: Full-partial sun
Height: 3 feet
Description: One of TLC's favorites both for home landscaping and restorations! A widely distributed species of grass in the US, Little Bluestem is very drought-tolerant, but it can do well in moist situations too. In a garden setting, Little Bluestem is valued for its blue-green color in the summer and, after the first frost, it turns beautiful shades of gold, copper, and crimson that will remain all winter. The grass gets fluffy white seed heads that also adds seasonal interest. Will also grow in partial sun oak savanna restorations and provide a valuable fuel for prescribed burning.
Attracts: The caterpillars of several skippers feed on the foliage, including Atrytonopsis hianna (Dusted Skipper), Hesperia metea (Cobweb Skipper), Hesperia ottoe (Ottoe Skipper), Hesperia sassacus (Indian Skipper), Nastra lherminier (Swarthy Skipper), and Polites origenes (Crossline Skipper). Many grasshoppers also feed on the foliage, and they are an important source of food for many birds. Other insects that feed on Little Bluestem include Diapheromera velii (Prairie Walkingstick), the leaf-mining beetle Anisostena nigrita, the thrips Illinothrips rossi, Prosapia ignipectus (Black Spittlebug), the Delphacid planthopper Delphacodes parvula, and such leafhoppers as Flexamia albida, Flexamia clayi, Flexamia delongi, Flexamia graminea, Flexamia prairiana, Athysanella incongrua, and Laevicephalus unicoloratus. The Field Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Slate-Colored Junco, and other small songbirds eat the seeds, particularly during the winter.