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A little background:
Schizachyrium scoparium (formerly Andropogon scoparius) is a species endemic to North America, from Quebec to Mexico.
A real fighter from the American prairies this robust grass is used to tough competition from other grasses and can resist harsh conditions including cold, drought and poor soils.
Under the leadership of Professor Mary Meyer, the University of Minnesota's Department of Horticultural Science is running a research programme on the native grasses of America's Great Plains.
As part of this programme at the end of the 2000s, an ornamental variety of Schizachyrium was selected from wild seeds gathered in Benton County (central Minnesota). The cultivar obtained, for gardeners' delight, Schizachyrium 'Blue Heaven' is thus the worthy descendant of the wild grasses of America!
Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blue Heaven' forms a soft, natural columnar tuft which grows to about 1.2 metres in height. The colouring is remarkable, as its summer blue-grey foliage turns to purple-red in the autumn. In the winter, from mid-November, the plant assumes a copper-brown mantle.
Another great advantage: Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blue Heaven' remains proudly upright with no slouching!
And another one: its ancestors have passed on a healthy resistance to harsh growing conditions and it is obviously suitable for meadow gardens.
Grow in the sun in a well-drained, ordinary soil, which can be poor, dry and sandy. Avoid rich, heavy, damp, clay soils.
Maintenance: cut back at the beginning of spring.
Synonym: Andropogon scoparium 'Blue Heaven'
Photo credit: Department of Horticultural Science - Minnesota University
|Cultivation and Propagation|
|Soil type:||good garden soil, ordinary soil, hot dry areas|
|Culture advice:||Planting soil composed: 1/3 coarse sand, 1/3 garden soil, 1/3 horticultural compost, Well-drained soil with coarse sand|
|Special maintenance:||Prune the plant at the end of autumn|
|Multiplication Tips:||Basal cuttings in mid spring|
|Garden value:||focus plant, autumn foliage, attractive foliage|
|Garden style:||modern garden, rock garden, prairie garden, cottage garden|
|Landscape interest:||pot and container, mixed-border, gravel garden|