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Little Bluestem

Little BluestemThe Kansas Legislature in 2010 made the native grass little bluestem, a Kansas symbol. On July 1, 2010, it officially became the state grass of Kansas.

Little Bluestem is a native perennial grass with a dense root system reaching between five to eight feet into the soil. Important for wildlife habitat, it is drought resistant and grows from one to three feet tall.

Once the most abundant grass in the Great Plains, Little Bluestem is still of major importance in the tall, mixed, and short grass prairies. It can produce one to two tons of biomass per acre. The grass is one species that is found in every county of Kansas. It is nutritious and palatable for cattle and bison, especially after a spring burn, when the new growth is highly attractive to grazers.

The statute reads:

Section 1. The grass known as little bluestem (schizachyrium scoparium) is hereby designated as and declared to be the official grass of the state of Kansas.
Section 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the statute book.


Photo courtesy Kansas Geological Survey

Entry: Little Bluestem

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: July 2011

Date Modified: January 2019

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.