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Panicum virgatum 'Haense Herms'

Switchgrass /

A clump-forming grass that grows 4-5' tall with flower heads rising another 1' above the foliage, 'Haense Herms' offers steely blue foliage with red-tinged tips that become more prolific as the season progresses. Flower heads turn beige in fall with the seed plumes persisting well into winter. This bunch grass provides excellent cover and food for ducks, upland game birds, and songbirds.


  • Provides nest sites, protective cover and food for birds
  • The Grass Family is an essential larval host for most banded skippers and satyrs
  • Showy red foliage and compact form
  • Great winter interest
  • Use flowers in fresh or dried arrangements
  • Tolerates a wide range of growing conditions, including poor or wet soils

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grows easily in full sun. Plant in average to dry soil. Leave foliage in place for winter interest and to provide homes for over-wintering wildlife. Cut back to the ground in late winter before new growth begins. Plants will self-sow but are not invasive.

4-5 Feet


2-3 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 2-9

Native Range

Woodlands edge, breaks, fields, marshes, prairies and roadsides; Nova Scotia to Manitoba south to New Mexico and Florida.

Native Trivia

Clumping grasses like this are also known as bunch grasses. Use these grasses en masse mixed with meadow shrubs to provide ideal wildlife habitat. This kind of layout provides protective cover, quality nesting areas and food for birds and insects.

"In winter, when food and cover are scarce, switchgrass is a provider of both for birds like me."

Good Companions
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
  • Medium to Tall Grasses
  • Filtered Shade
  • Sun
  • Well-drained
  • Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
  • Average
  • Dry
Attracts Wildlife
  • Songbirds
Bloom Time
  • Late Summer
  • Summer
Critter Resistance
  • Deer Resistant
Habitat Collection
  • Songbird
  • Wet Sun
Native Habitat
  • Grassland
Foliage Color
  • Green
  • Red
  • Accent
  • Border
  • Cut or dried flower
  • Drought tolerant
  • Erosion control
  • Ground cover
  • Mass plant
  • Meadow
  • Naturalizes
  • Rock garden
  • Specimen
  • Wind tolerant
Native to
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming