Native Switchgrasses (Panicum) for Any Landscape

July 25, 2016

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Native grasses, like switchgrass, aren’t just for the prairie or natural gardens.

New cultivars have made them suitable for formal, informal gardens both large and small.  Northwind switchgrass grows 4 to 6 feet tall but only 2 to 2 ½ feet wide. The olive green to blue-green leaves turn yellow beige in fall and stand tall all year long. The airy yellow flowers form a cloud over the foliage and seed heads remain throughout the winter.

Apache Rose is a shorter upright switchgrass growing 40 to 48 inches tall.  This new introduction has gray-green leaves that develop rose colored leaf tips when the rose colored flowers appear in fall. Add a bit more color with Prairie Winds Cheyenne Sky. Even at 36 inches tall this switchgrass adds lots of beauty to the landscape. The blue-green leaves turn wine red in early summer and complement the purple flowers that appear in late summer.

A bit more information: Switchgrass attracts birds and butterflies to the landscape while deer tend to leave them be.  They are also the host plant for Delaware and most banded skippers as well as most of the satyrs.