Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’ #3 (Arborvitae)August 24, 2020
Matteuccia struthiopteris #2 (Ostrich Fern)August 25, 2020
Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’ #1 (Little Bluestem)
Little Bluestem is one of the “Big Four” dominant grasses of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. ‘Standing Ovation’ is a cultivated variety of our native Schizachyrium scoparium. It is a warm-season grass that begins the season as a short, dense tuft of curling leaves before it sprouts distinctly vertical, blueish stems 3-4′ in height. It puts on a spectacular display of colors in the fall, turning shades of dusky maroon, blazing orange, lavender and bronze. The seed heads are an attractive element that persist into the winter as fluffy tufts along the stems.
Little Bluestem is remarkably drought tolerant due to its deep, fibrous root system, and it thrives in full sun and lean soils. Where the species might flop with too much fertility or water, ‘Standing Ovation’ remains standing tall. It makes for a stunning vertical accent in the perennial border and is an effective herbaceous hedge or living screen. It only needs cut back in early spring before the new growth emerges to maintain a tidy look.