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Montana Field Guides

Little Bluestem - Schizachyrium scoparium
Other Names:  Andropogon scoparius

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4S5
C-value: 4


Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:


 

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 et al. 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 et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 718

(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 et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • 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.
    • Harvey, S.J. 1990. Responses of steppe plants to gradients of water soil texture and disturbance in Montana, U.S.A. Ph.D. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 34 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.
    • King, L.A. 1980. Effects of topsoiling and other reclamation practices on nonseeded species establishment on surface mined land at Colstrip, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 129 p.
    • Meier, G.A. 1997. The colonization of Montana roadsides by native and exotic plants. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 45 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.
    • Plantenberg, P.L. 1983. Factors affecting vegetation development on mined land at Colstrip, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 121 p.
    • Rennick, R.B. 1981. Effects of prescribed burning on mixed prairie vegetation in southeastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 144 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.
    • Skilbred, Chester L. 1979. Plant succession on five naturally revegetated strip-mined deposits at Colstrip, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 128 pp.
    • Skinner, K.F. 1995. Plant and grasshopper community composition: indicators & interactions across three spatial scales. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 144 p.
    • Thompson, W. L. 1993. Ecology of Merriam's Turkeys in relation to burned and logged areas in southeastern Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 195 p.
    • Wood, A.K. 1987. Ecology of a prairie mule deer population. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 205 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Little Bluestem — Schizachyrium scoparium.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from