a fiery mist in the landscape

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switchgrass
panicum virgatum 'shenandoah"
poaceae

  • to about 4' tall, 3' wide

  • Reddish streaks on foliage, reddish mist of flower in late summer

  • regular to moderate water (low to terrace zones)

  • FULL SUN 

  • hardy to -30°F, dormant in winter 

  • GREAT CONTAINER PLANT

  • seeds feed songbirds

Found on sandy or rocky soil, mostly along water courses or in moist canyons in Arizona, switch grass can occur naturally at elevations of about 3500-7000'. The variety we have 'Shenandoah' emerges in spring with a blueish green hue. As the summer ensues, leaves develop fiery-red streaks. In late summer a reddish mist of flowers hover over the foliage, followed by seeds in the fall which are loved by songbirds. 

Switchgrass is very upright, growing to about 4' tall, and about 3' wide. The grass will go dormant in the winter though plants still have an attractive form in winter. Cut back to ground in spring. 

Plants grow best in full sun with moderate water and can take low temperatures to about -30°F. 

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Katherine Gierlach