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A mainstay of the now nearly lost tallgrass prairie, little bluestem was once king of regions where buffalo roamed. Today, in your garden, it's gorgeous when backlit by the sun, especially in fall when it turns a glorious red, tan, or gold. This fine-textured, warm season grass can be incorporated easily into mixed borders, meadows, and wild gardens. It has bluish or green stems and produces tan flower spikelets, which turn silvery white as they age and dry well. It is happy in most soils but little bluestem needs full sun.
From 1 to 8 feet
1 foot wide
more varieties for Little bluestem
'The Blues' little blustem
Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues' is a newer selection that offers grass blades that are more blue than the wild species. In autumn, it turns burgundy purple. 'The Blues' grows 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 3-9
plant Little bluestem with
It's time to debunk a garden myth: Goldenrod does not aggravate allergies! The pollen is too heavy to fly in the wind and instead sticks to the legs of the insects and butterflies that feed on its nectar.It's one of the most glorious flowers of late summer and early autumn, with the wild type blanketing ditches and other open, moist sunny places. In your own garden, choose the hybridized types that are shorter, longer-blooming, and don't spread out of control. Divide or take cuttings of these to increase your supply; seed will not come true.
Asters get their name from the Latin word for "star," and their flowers are indeed the superstars of the fall garden. Some types of this native plant can reach up to 6 feet with flowers in white and pinks but also, perhaps most strikingly, in rich purples and showy lavenders.Not all asters are fall bloomers. Extend the season by growing some of the summer bloomers, as well. Some are naturally compact; tall types that grow more than 2 feet tall benefit from staking or an early-season pinching or cutting back by about one-third in July or so to keep the plant more compact.
Brightly colored butterfly weed is a butterfly magnet, attracting many kinds of butterflies to its colorful blooms. Monarch butterfly larvae feed on its leaves but seldom harm this native plant. It is slow to emerge in the spring, so mark its location to avoid accidental digging before new growth starts. If you don't want it to spread, deadhead faded blooms before seedpods mature. It is sometimes called milkweed because it produces a milky sap when cut.