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Little Bluestem

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Title: Little Bluestem  
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Little Bluestem

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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
Synonyms

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 gerardii), indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). It is a warm-season species, meaning it employs the C4 photosynthetic pathway.

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]

Symbolism

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

References

External links

  • Little Bluestem at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Little bluestem: Kansas
  • Little Bluestem: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
  • Missouri Botanical Garden's Kemper Center for Home Gardening


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