A Slice of Heaven

​We recently experienced a slice of Heaven. It was courtesy of a fantastic grass, Schizachyrium scoparium ‘MinnBlueA’ PP17310, known more lyrically as Blue Heaven®.

Blue Heaven Little Bluestem
Blue Heaven® Little Bluestem at the Arboretum

Our team visited the Twin Cities area in Minnesota in early August to attend the Perennial Plant Symposium. We toured several gardens and saw lots of Little Bluestem. Most of the time, it was the cultivar, Blue Heaven®. It’s one of our favorites here in North Carolina, so we were doubly impressed with how well it was performing in the Upper Midwest.

That shouldn’t be any surprise. This beautifully colored cultivar was selected at the University of Minnesota by Dr. Mary Meyer. A professor and extension horticulturist, she oversees the Ornamental Grass Collection at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. They selected Blue Heaven® for its bright color and tall, vigorous growth. It’s a very showy Little Bluestem.

In this post, you can get a good look at Blue Heaven® in Minnesota and in a couple of local gardens in North Carolina. We thought it was interesting to compare in both regions. Enjoy!

Blue Heaven in the National Grass Trials at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Blue Heaven® (on the right) in the National Grass Trials at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
At the Noerenberg Memorial Gardens in the Twin Cities
At the Noerenberg Memorial Gardens in the Twin Cities.
Another stand of Blue Heaven at Noerenberg Memorial Gardens in the Twin Cities
Another stand of Blue Heaven® at Noerenberg Memorial Gardens in the Twin Cities.
The Heiland Garden featured Blue Heaven at the curbside, welcoming visitors and handling a tough spot with ease.
The Heiland Garden outside Minneapolis featured Blue Heaven® at the curbside, welcoming visitors and handling a tough spot with ease.
Switching to North Carolina, here's Blue Heaven at Hoffman Nursery in late July
Switching to North Carolina, here’s Blue Heaven® at Hoffman Nursery in late July.
Blue Heaven at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill.
Also in late July, here’s Blue Heaven® at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill.
Container at North Carolina Botanical Garden that uses Blue Heaven.
We love this container at the North Carolina Botanical Garden that uses Blue Heaven®. Taken in early August, the foliage is starting to get really nice color.

The plumes and foliage of Blue Heaven (in front) contrasts beautifully with the toasty plumes of Indian Grass and Dallas Blues Switchgrass.
In late September at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, the blooms and foliage of Blue Heaven® (in front) contrast beautifully with the toasty plumes of Indian Grass and the pink panicles of Dallas Blues Switchgrass.
Later in Fall, the foliage develops deep jewel tones and copper tips.
Later in Fall, as temperatures drop and daylength shortens, the foliage develops deep jewel tones and copper tips. This is our first planting of Blue Heaven® at the nursery, and it helped us fall in love with this outstanding cultivar.

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