little bluestem ‘Blue Heaven’

Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Blue Heaven’. This member of the Poaceae is a cultivar of the native little bluestem grass that is a component of Midwestern tallgrass prairies. Growing up to 4 ft. tall and 2.5 ft. wide, ‘Blue Heaven’ thrives in well-drained soil and full-sun conditions. The cultivar is highly drought tolerant.

Little bluestem ‘Blue Heaven’ flowers in August, then give way to spectacular silvery-white tufts of seeds from late September onward, providing great winter interest and winter feeding for birds. The ‘Blue Heaven’ cultivar is a 2006 introduction from the University of Minnesota characterized by its strong and compact upright growth habit and deep blue-gray summer leaves that transition through burgundy in the fall to red with the onset of winter.

Although at Lurie Garden for only a few years, staff have found S. scoparium ‘Blue Heaven’ to be a great addition to the garden’s light plate. The cultivar’s strong upright habit and gray-tone color provides an excellent backdrop on which to interplant earlier-flowering species that benefit from vertical support, such as Dalea purpurea (purple prairie clover).

Botanical Name Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Blue Heaven’
Common Name little bluestem ‘Blue Heaven’
Family Poaceae
USDA Zone 3 thru 9
Light Requirement Full Sun
Season(s) of interest summer, fall, winter
Height and Spread 2-4ft x 1.5-2ft (60-120cm x 45-60cm)
Flower Color Inconspicuous Bronze-Purple
Attracts Wildlife Provides Food for Birds, Hosts Caterpillars of Butterflies/Moths,
Additional Information Cultivated Form of a Native Plant.
Location in Lurie Garden Southwest Light Plate​

Average Flowering Time