Native grasses - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, Il
Question by wardbabe
June 30, 2010
I have a dappled shade eastern exposure area and would like to plant some native grasses that would grow to 3'-4'. What is there for this area?


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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The Grass 'Little Bluestem', Schizachyrium scoparium, is a native American prairie grass. It is also know as "Sagegrass" or "Beard grass'. It can reach up to 3-4' and has a blueish hue to the leaves. The leaves turn a rich orangy wheat color in fall.
Another Native: Indian Grass is a native perennial grass is 3-7' tall and unbranched. It typically consists of tight bunches of flowering culms and their leaves. But I believe this one is too tall for you. And finally, Northern Sea Oats: a loosely tufted, clump-forming grass with lance-shaped, arching mid-green foliage that turns yellow in winter. Summer brings highly decorative oat-like panicles of flat, green flowerheads that shimmer and rustle in the wind, aging to bronze by late summer. But its only 1-3 ft high.... So go with "Little Bluestem Grass" Good luck in the garden!

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