Panicum virgatum

Switch grass

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour



Attractive seed-heads, Autumn colour



Skill level


photo by John Glover, copyright GAP Photos (62255)

Plant details

Switch grass makes a useful addition to ornamental grass or perennial borders. It forms narrowly upright clumps of mid-green foliage that turn yellow in autumn and light brown in winter. In early autumn it produces tiny purple-green flowers. Plants are found growing wild from Canada to Central America. They are hardy in the UK and generally trouble-free in well-drained soil.

Family: Poaceae

Genus: Panicum

Species: virgatum

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Purple

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Attractive seed-heads, Autumn colour

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Sandy

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 100cm

Spread: 75cm

Time to divide plants: April to May

Flowering period: July to August

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