Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)-Hort Answers - University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers

Ornamental Grass

Panicum virgatum

Switchgrass <em>Panicum virgatum</em>
Switchgrass Panicum virgatum

Vertical columnar prairie grass with airy branched flower panicles that are reddish purple in color. Leaves are narrow to medium width and green during the summer turning brilliant reddish colors for the fall.

This is a clumping warm season grass.

Prefers moist well-drained fertile soils in sun locations. Once established is very drought tolerant. 

'Cloud Nine' 5-6' Blue foliage with heavy clusters of airy flowers.

'Dallas Blues' 6-8' Metallic blue to purple blue foliage, 2' long seed heads.

'Heavy Metal' 4-5' Stiff upright grower, metalic blue foliage.

'Northwind' 5-6' very upright clump former.

'Shenandoah' 2-3' Blue green foliage turning wine red in the fall.

Mature Height
4-6 Feet
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 9 
Soil Conditions
Moist, Well-Drained
Exposure/Light Requirements
Full Sun
Foliage Color
Pests and Problems

Environmental Damage

Additional Notes
One of the better tall prairie grasses.


Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
Illinois Commercial Landscape and Turfgrass Pest Management Handbook
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic