Sun: Full to partial
Moisture: Medium to dry
Genotype: Ypsilanti township
This beautiful clump-forming prairie grass provides all-season interest, with spring tufts growing to a 3'-tall bunch of blue-green leaves. In fall, fluffy seeds appear along the stem, which can persist into winter, when the upright stems and leaves turn pale gold. Little Bluestem is one of the "four horsemen of the prairie," or, most dominant prairie grasses, the others being big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans).
Of the five plant communities most prevalent in eastern Washtenaw County prior to 1800 (Dry Southern Forest, Dry-Mesic Southern Forest, Mesic Southern Forest, Oak Barrens, and Southern Hardwood Swamp), Little Bluestem (like Big Bluestem) is associated with the one most resembing a prairie, the Oak Barrens community.
Host plant to several species of skippers. Grasses (and sedges) were the preferred food of the mammoths that once lived in Michigan.