Little Bluestem is a native, warm season perennial bunchgrass that grows 3-6’ in height at maturity. It is widely distributed across the United States and grows on most all soil types. Leaves are bluish-green to lime-green in spring through late summer, then become leathery-brown to red at maturity. Seeds are small and fuzzy with twisted awns. It produces one seed crop per year in late September-November. It is a fair to good forage for livestock depending on the soil and location, and is considered an important wildlife cover plant, especially as nesting habitat for quail and turkeys, and as fawning cover for deer. Little Bluestem is an important component of range and wildlife habitat restoration seed mixes, CRP planting mixes, and it is commonly included in right-of-way seed blends used on roadsides and pipelines throughout Texas..
A number of seed varieties of little bluestem are planted in Texas. These include OK Select adapted to Central Texas, Carrizo Blend adapted to Southern Texas, and Cimarron which is used in the Central Texas, the Texas Panhandle and North Texas. Little bluestem is one of the “big 4” native grasses of the Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem, and it is an important restoration species for most areas of Texas and adjacent states.
Planting: Plant in early spring or late summer-early fall at a rate of 3-4 lbs. pure live seed (PLS) per acre at 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep.
Soil: Sandy, loamy sand, sandy loam, loam, clay, clay loam
Height: 3-6 feet
Type: Warm Season Perennial
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