b'Texas\' only Harvestof Native Little Bluestem PrairiesSchizachyrium scopariumLittle Bluestem once dominated our tall and short grass prairiesFor Wildlife Valuation, Little Bluestem qualifies as food and from Canada to Mexico. But almost everywhere that could behabitat. The seeds are nutritious for goldfinch, quail, dove, and plowed has been plowed. Texas, the largest prairie state, hasmany mammals. Excellent ground-nesting cover for prairie the least acres conserved. Besides a few refuges, current-daybirds, mammals and larval food source for butterflies. sightings still find it growing on thin, infertile, highly erodible soils.surviving harsh conditions with good land stewardshipLittle Bluestem was once so important for forage, the USDA practices. Sadly, in many regions, \'Lil Blu\' is almost gone.Plant Materials Centers developed several \'improved\' selections called cultivars, mostly taken from northern and mid For the Landscape, Little Bluestem can be grown from seed.western prairies decades ago. Agronomists targeted selections Being a well-behaved 1 to 4\' clump grass makes it ideal forwith highest forage production. After years of refinement and blue-green spring color. Later in the growing season, with noprocessing of cultivars and certified seeds, many naturally mowing and blessed mid-summer rains .seeds begin to form.occurring genetic adaptations are intentionally bred out to By autumn, rich bronze stems with frost-white, fuzzy, dewcontrol uniformity. glistened seeds sparkling at sunrise helps us to remember why Comanches fought so hard for this land. Howling cold northersIf local adaptability to changing environmental conditions over eventually blow seeds to the winds.where ground nestingtime is important to you .consider planting diverse Native, quail, meadowlarks or grasshopper sparrows forage for food.Non-certified seeds. Usually the best adapted seeds are natives harvested reasonably close to the planting site with no For Ag producers, \'Lil Blu\' greens up a month earlier thansupplemental breeding or trait selecting. How close? How ever alien coastal bermuda and provides excellent grazing untilfar a buffalo can run. maturity. Native hay meadows are low-input. \'Lil Blu\' does not like petro-fertilizers. Good stewardship includes managed"What is a Native Anyway?" see centerfoldgrazing, no late haying or short summer mowings, and a prescribed burn plan. Little Bluestem prairies can lasta foundation species, Little Bluestem is absolutely beautiful perpetually.in commercial & residential landscapes.16n ativEa MEricanS EEd 325 446 3600'