Little Bluestem is a warm-season native perennial grass in the shortgrass, mixed-grass and tallgrass prairies. It is readily recognized by its bunch habitat and its reddish blue-green foliage.
Cattle, large and small mammals graze little bluestem in the early spring. They quit grazing it when the plant becomes mature. They do not eat it if the previous year’s growth was not burned or grazed.
Little Bluestem is adapted to fire and increases with dormant-season prescribed fires.
It provides cover for ground nesting birds, small mammals and especially Northern bobwhite. White-tailed deer use if for screening in areas of dense cover. Little bluestem is also a larval host for many butterfly species. It is also an important component of prairie hay.