Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Prairie Munchkin’ PPAF

Perfect for poor soils and dry gardens.


Common Name Prairie Munchkin little bluestem
Size 24-30" tall by 20-24" wide
USDA hardiness Zones 3-9
Sun / Shade Full sun
Soil average to poor garden soils
Moisture will take average moisture and severe drought
Disease and Pests None known
Landscape use Commercial plantings, median strips, foundations, borders, containers, urban gardens
Market appeal / Uniqueness Stiff, upright plumes of steel blue persist from July to November, when they fade to a strawberry blonde color. Prairie Munchkin is perfect for poor soils and dry garden spots and should be used more in municple plantings.
Propagation Methods division, tissue culture
Date of Introduction July 2013
Bloom Time August to November

Angela’s Garden Notes:

Are you looking for a native, ornamental grass that won’t get too tall, takes poor soils with little to no organic matter and loves to be dry?  Then this new selection is for you.  Prairie Munchkin was selected from tons of seedlings by Donovan Boehm of Boehm’s Garden Center in west, central IL.  Don selected it for the steel blue new growth, the perfect size for median and municipal plantings that require plants to be 3′ tall or smaller and for the fact that it does not flop in late summer or even winter, like most little bluestems do.

Prairie Munchkin is the perfect native alternative to the highly overused Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’.  This new sturdy grass will make a perfect 3′ tall hedge.  Use it in naturalistic plantings in a border or mass it in a hedge row for a very minimalist, modern look, Prairie Munchkin is certainly not “small” on uses or personality.  The steel blue foliage persist throughout the heat of the summer, then the flowers appear and the foliage slowly turns a shade of strawberry blonde, then to tawny for the remainder of winter.

For Gardeners

Cut this grass back in late March for the best effect.  This is a warm season grass – that means you will not see new growth until it gets warm – sometime in June in most parts of the country, so have some patience in spring and don;t think it’s dead. This is one of the hardiest ornamental grasses ever!

For Growers

Divide in June, right before new growth begins, for the best results.  Keep these dry, well drained and  on minimal fertilizer for the healthiest plugs/plants.