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Montana Field Guides

Little Bluestem - Schizachyrium scoparium
Other Names:  Andropogon scoparius

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4S5

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links






 
General Description
Bunchgrass occasionally with short rhizomes. Stems 30–100 cm, often red or rust colored when mature; sheaths flattened and keeled. Leaves: blades 2–5 mm wide; ligule 1–3 mm long. Inflorescence with numerous lateral branches each bearing a single spike 3–6 cm long; rachis and pedicels long hairy along margins. Spikelets: sessile spikelets 6–8 mm long, glumes purplish to greenish, acute. Lemmas: fertile lemma 4–6.5 mm long, with an awn 5–13 mm long; pedicellate spikelet reduced to a small glume 1–3 mm long (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Range Comments
Throughout most of North America except at extreme northern latitudes (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 652

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
On gravelly, rocky, and sandy soils especially in overgrazed rangelands and roadside (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Anderson, N.L. 1951. Field studies on the biology of range grasshoppers of southeastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 96 p.
    • Anderson, N.L. 1962. Grasshopper-vegetation relationships on Montana grasslands. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Brey, C.W. 1998. Epidemiology of wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella K.) and wheat streak mosaic virus on feral grass species and effect of glyphosate on wheat curl mite dispersal. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 136 p.
    • Fritzen, D.E. 1995. Ecology and behavior of Mule Deer on the Rosebud Coal Mine, Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 143 p.
    • Gobeille, J.E. 1992. The effect of fire on Merriams turkey brood habitat in southeastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 61 p.
    • Holeckek, J.L. 1976. Initial effects of different species treatments and fertilizer rates on a mine spoils rehabilitation. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 91 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Miller, J.G. 1978. An ecoligical study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p.
    • Miller, M.G. 1980. The influence of habitat features on waterfowl productivity on stock reservoirs in south Valley County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 43 p.
    • Murphy, C.Y. 2016. Chemical control and disease reservoir studies of the wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella Keifer) vector to wheat streak mosaic virus. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 75 p.
    • Nielsen, L.S. 1978. The effects of rest-rotation grazing on the distribution of Sharp-tailed Grouse. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 52 p.
    • Northrup, R.D. 1991. Sharp-tailed grouse habitat use during fall and winter on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 54 p.
    • Scow, K.L. 1981. Ecological distribution of small mammals at Sarpy Creek, Montana, with special consideration of the Deer Mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Little Bluestem — Schizachyrium scoparium.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from