Family: Poaceae

Scientific Name: Schizachyrium scoparium Smoke Signal

Common Name: Little Blue Stem Smoke Signal


Smoke Signal Little Blue Stem (Schizachyrium)

Plant TypeGrass Ornamental
Hardiness Zone3-9
Moistureaverage, moist
Soil & Siteaverage, dry, well drained, sandy
Flowerstan seed heads appear in early fall, borne on an inflorescence as a single raceme
Leavesglaucous blue-green foliage begins to take on scarlet red tones in late summer, turning a deeper red-purple through the fall
Stemsholds the strictly upright habit through fall, resists lodging
Dimensions3-4 by 1.5-2 feet (HS)
Maintenancecut back foliage in the spring
Native SiteSpecies Little Blue Stem native to the North American prairies.
Cultivar OriginWalters Gardens, Zeeland Michigan USA, inventors Hans A. Hansen, Kevin A. Hurd
Misc FactsGenus name Schizachyrium from schizo for "to split" in part. Species name scoparium from Latin scopa for "broom". SYN: Andropogon scoparius
Author's NotesI have grown a few Little Blue Stem cultivars that will have the dark dusky purple foliage in the fall. It seems to me that for this to occur you need close to perfect conditions. During the summer of 2019 in Muskego, Wisconsin USA my Indian Warrior Little Blue Stem lived up to its name. It had nice dark dusky purple foliage. It was a very wet year. This was the first that I got some good results. Maybe Smoke Signal is a better cultivar.
Notes & ReferenceWalters Gardens web site
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