(Panicum virgatum)
One of the dominant species of our tallgrass prairies, switch grass is a deeply-rooted and highly ornamental grass. Usually bluish-green in summer and yellow in winter, but numerous cultivars have been bred by plantsmen (many in Germany, where our prairie plants are very popular). ‘Dallas Blues’ is very blue-green; ‘Shenandoah’ has reddish stems; ‘Heavy Metal’ is almost silver with burgundy seedheads, and so on. Although switchgrass is said to dislike heavy soil, it seems to do fine in our gumbo clay; it may take over if you give it sandy loam. A good plant for bar ditches and troublesome wet spots, it adds architectural presence to modern landscapes, and feeds a variety of wildlife as well.

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