Schizachyrium

Little Bluestem

Prevalent in the eastern half of this country, Schizachyriums are becoming a favorite of gardeners everywhere. These warm season clumping grasses have soft-looking, narrow blades, though most of the plantís height is due to its flower spikes: fluffy plumes of seed heads that look great backlit or as part of a cut arrangement. Deciduous and drought tolerant, they will grow in almost any type of soil except those overly soggy.

True to its name, ‘Blaze’ displays intense fall colors ranging from pinkish orange to russet-red to purple, often persisting through the winter. This Schizachyrium works well en masse interspersed with other grasses or as a colorful stand-alone in the rock garden.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 12" – 2' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Discovered by Donald Boehm in Rushville, Illinois, this distinctive, broad bowl-shaped grass sprouts narrow, tightset violet-tinged blue-green blades on reddish stalks plus fluffy mercury-hued plumes with delicate, nearly transparent seed heads. Exceptional copper, rosy tan, orange and mahogany shades imbue the foliage and flowering stalks once cool weather arrives, proclaiming the cultivar name and painting prismatic fine textured accents across the garden. Later, narrow sturdy stems blanch to a warm almond-hue and remain dutifully upright all winter, even after multiple snow storms.(pp#20,948)

Blooms July–October

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Another fabulous Intrinsic grass introduction, this Schizachyrium ‘The Blues’ offspring orchestrates a winning shorter stance than its relation plus upstanding glaucous steel blue blades. Dainty racemes of bronzed purple flowers on branched stems give way to fleecy looking translucent silver seed heads that gleam when backlit by the late afternoon sun, while mauve and purple shades dress the slender linear leaves in autumn. Adaptable, versatile and plucky, ‘Jazz’ is a grace note for mixed borders, cottage gardens or stylized prairie settings.

Blooms July–October

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Cool-hued consistently steel blue blades sizzling with orange and red hues as summer wanes, is what sets this improved Jelitto Seeds cultivar apart. Easily tolerating heat and humidity, ‘Prairie Blue’s lavender-tinged ribbon-like foliage grows into a sturdy upright clump that looks outstanding planted in drifts just about anywhere.

Blooms July – October.

Size: 3' 0" high x 15" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Introduced by Pennsylvaniaís North Creek Nursery, this new Schizachyriumís tidy upright stature gives you good reason to applaud nearly year round. The sturdy bundle of tight-knit blue stems with purple-hued bases and spiky blue-green blades, thicker than most in the genus, exhibits a dogged constitution, splendid foliar colors and an arresting winter presence. Gauzy silver inflorescences plus the autumn encore of scintillating orange, red, ochre and purplish mocha shades further enhance ĎStanding Ovationís reliable performance that will keep you entertained in spite of rain, high wind, snowfall and dry impoverished sites.

Blooms July-October

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 12" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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