Family - Poaceae, grass family
Genus, species - Schizachyrium scoparium
Leaves are flat, linear, reddish-brown or bluish-green, usually folded with edges rolled backward.
Flower heads have a zig-zag appearance, arranged in spikes at end of stem. Flowers are borne in pairs, one with a stalk and one without a stalk.
Domestic and wild animals prefer to eat little bluestem when the plant is young and green. Toward the end of the growing season, the plant becomes coarse and animals don't eat it. Little bluestem makes fine hay, but consecutive years of haying will cause it to disappear from a field.
The genus name, Schizachyrium, is from the Latin for "fringed" or "split." The species name, coparium is from the Greek for "broom-like."