Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Prairie Wildflowers and Grasses of North Dakota
Grass (Native Species)
|| Little bluestem
Habitat: tallgrass prairies, eastern and central mixed
grass prairie. Little bluestem can grow well on every soil texture
over a wide range of pH's.
Description: Warm season, perennial, bunchgrass. Spikes
are fuzzy and fluffy white at maturity, attached along and at
the end of the stem. Foliage reddens at maturity. Often exists
in nearly pure stands.
Height: 1-3 feet
Plant uses and other interesting facts: Little bluestem
is nutritious when young and readily eaten by livestock and hoofed
wildlife but seems to be avoided when mature. It is often seeded
with other native grasses for erosion control. Lakota Indians
would rub the dried leaves and stems into soft fiber for moccasin
insulation. Little bluestem is easy to pick out on the prairie
in the fall as it appears as a "carpet" of orangish-red vs. other
grasses which appear yellowish-brown.
Previous Grass -- Big bluestem
Return to Grasses
Next Grass -- Indiangrass