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ornamental grass

Smoke Signal Little Bluestem

Schizachyrium scoparium 'Smoke Signal'

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Smoke Signal Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Smoke Signal') at Woldhuis Farms Sunrise Greenhouses

Smoke Signal Little Bluestem

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Smoke Signal Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Smoke Signal') at Woldhuis Farms Sunrise Greenhouses

Smoke Signal Little Bluestem

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  3 feet

Flower Height:  4 feet

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  3a

Other Names:  Little Bluestem

Brand:  Walters Gardens


This selection presents a beautifully refined habit with a strong show of color; blue-green foliage takes on scarlet tones in late summer, turning deeper red-purple in fall with tan seed heads; perfect as a landscape accent, or along borders

Ornamental Features

Smoke Signal Little Bluestem has masses of beautiful plumes of purple flowers with coppery-bronze overtones rising above the foliage in late summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its attractive grassy leaves are bluish-green in color with showy scarlet variegation. As an added bonus, the foliage turns gorgeous shades of dark red and in the fall. The tan seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from early fall to late winter. The bluish-green stems are very colorful and add to the overall interest of the plant.

Landscape Attributes

Smoke Signal Little Bluestem is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Smoke Signal Little Bluestem is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Smoke Signal Little Bluestem will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Garden  Groundcover 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features