Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues’ is a lovely upright blue tinted Little Bluestem cultivar. With fine textured steely blue foliage and rosy pink stems, it produces small flowers in late summer. This grass will hold up all winter and is an attractive architectural feature of beautiful native gardens.
Young leaves and stems are an attractive powder blue with deep purple highlights. In late summer, branched rosy pink to red flower stalks emerge and are held above the leaves. Clusters of fluffy silver seed heads follow in tandem with brilliant burgundy to russet fall foliage.
During winter, plants maintain their beautiful fall colors or can develop glowing amber foliage. The striking vertical stems generally hold up throughout the winter, but with weather and wind, they may bend and fan out...but gracefully. Avoid shade, excessive fertilizer and water. Remember to cut Blue Stem to the ground in winter before spring.
‘The Blues’ was selected by Kurt Bluemel and named by Dale Hendricks of North Creek Nurseries. Bluemel made the selection from seedlings of the cultivar ‘Aldous’. Even though ‘The Blues’ is popular in eastern coastal plains gardens, it has mid-western origins. ‘The Blues’ is reportedly a seedling of ‘Aldous’. The cultivar ‘Aldous’ originated from a population of seedlings collected in the Flint Hills Prairie south of Manhattan, Kansas in 1935. ‘Aldous’ is tall, vigorous, uniform and medium-late maturing. The variety was named for A. E. Aldous, a grass researcher and Kansas State University Agronomy Professor and released in 1966 by the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station.