Going To The Source
To learn more about this very recent Little Bluestem introduction, I contacted the nursery that selected and brought it into cultivation, North Creek Nurseries of Landenberg, PA.
Discovered as a noteworthy seedling of the renowned variety 'The Blues' on the greenhouse property, it was propagated and replanted back into its original spot. There it grew happily for a few years, but went unnoticed until one of their customers made note of its color and outstanding upright habit.
Over the next 5 years it was more extensively tested and evaluated until the team made the decision to introduce it as a new Little Bluestem cultivar. The name 'Standing Ovation' is a nod to the plant's strongly vertical stature as being worthy of applause.
The Benefits Of Native Grasses
Taking a step back to look more broadly at the accelerating popularity of native ornamental grasses, it's important to point out that this plant category also plays an essential ecological role in our landscapes and gardens.
- Native grasses are essential for providing habitat for beneficial insects, larval food for butterflies as well as seeds and shelter for numerous bird species.
- Native grass also offers gardeners and landscapers an alternative to some species of Old World grasses that have become troublesomely weedy or invasive. By selecting and planting comparable native ornamental grasses, we can protect wild areas and the wildlife that live there from habitat-destroying invasives like Plume Grass (Saccharum or Erianthus ravenae), Pampas grass (Cortaderia), some Chinese Maiden Hair grass cultivars (Miscanthus sinensis) and others.
- And just as importantly, we must also utilize the amazing root systems of our native ornamental grasses. These extensive and often deep-reaching roots protect soils from wind and water erosion while helping to filter and purify rainwater and snowmelt as it moves through the soil down into our precious aquifers. And these deep-reaching roots help to build the soil by improving aeration and providing organic material to decompose into humus.