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Switchgrass - Ornamental Grasses - University of Illinois Extension

Types of Ornamental Grasses

Panicum virgatum

Zone: 4-8

Height: 3-7 feet

Switchgrass is an upright-open vigorous perennial with numerous rhizomes. It is grown for its height and the large, delicate flowers that produce a haze effect. It is useful as a background plant and as a screen. It is a useful transition plant between the formal and natural areas of the garden and provides food and shelter for birds. Switchgrass blooms from July–September, producing shiny, reddish seeds. These seeds may be a reseeding problem, but in well-mulched gardens regrowth from reseeding tends to be less. Fall color is usually golden yellow or bronze. Switchgrass is adaptable to a wide range of soils and grows best in full sun or very light shade. Cultivars to look for include: 'Cloud Nine', 'Heavy Metal', 'Rotstrahlbush' and 'Warrior'.