What is this plant/grass?

(Question)

I saw this plant at the Canada Blooms exhibit but there was no label beside it, nor did the volunteers know its name. They gave me your business card & said to ask so I took a pic. (attached). Where on your site will you post an answer? I’d also like to know if this plant would grow near the ocean. Thank you.

(Answer)

While I can’t be sure, the grass in your photo looks like Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). Little Bluestem has fine textured, blue-green foliage forming a dense clump – consistent with what I see in your photo.  Little Bluestem is native to much of Southern Canada and the US. It is a perennial bunchgrass and one of the prominent grasses in the tallgrass prairie ecosystem native to central North America.

It will reach a height of 2 feet (60 cm) and has attractive copper-red colour in the fall.  It grows best in full sun and a well-drained soil and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions with good drought resistance once established. It is readily available and widely used for prairie and native meadow restorations. A number of cultivars have been developed for garden and landscape use. One variety Schizachyrium scoparium var. littorale is native to the eastern and southern US coast and the shores of the Great Lakes. This variety is adapted to sand dune habitat. The Evergreen Native Plants Database has more information and pictures of Little Bluestem.