Virtues: Blue Paradise little bluestem stands apart from other bluestem varieties because it maintains its upright habit throughout the fall, rather than flopping open. It offers silvery blue color through summer and takes on red and purple tones in fall.
Common name: Blue Paradise little bluestem
Botanical name:Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Blue Paradise’
Exposure: Full sun
Season: Summer through fall, for foliage
Foliage: Blue Paradise little bluestem stays true to its name with its dense silvery blue blades. These take on reddish purple tones in the fall.
Habit: This ornamental grass grows to 3.5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. It maintains an upright, narrow stance throughout the growing season.
Origins:Schizachyrium scoparium is a bunchgrass native to Canada and the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. It grows in prairies, plains, the edges of woods and on hillsides. The cultivar Blue Paradise was introduced by Walters Gardens and Proven Winners as part of their Prairie Winds collection of native grasses.
How to grow Blue Paradise little bluestem: Site in full sun and average well-drained soil. Tolerant of heat an humidity as well as drought once established. Cut the foliage down to the ground in late fall to promote sturdy, thick, upright growth the following spring. USDA Zones 3–9.
Image credit: Walters Gardens