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Panicum virgatum 'Northwind'

Switchgrass

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'Northwind' is a tall, clump-forming warm season grass with steel blue foliage. The wide, thick leaf blades and great upright form make this cultivar a real standout in the garden. Fine textured yellow flowers float over the foliage in summer. This bunch grass provides excellent cover and food for ducks, upland game birds, songbirds and small mammals.

Benefits

Provides nest sites, protective cover and food for birds
An essential larval host for most banded skippers and satyrs
Stands erect all growing season exhibiting beautiful blue foliage
Upright, wind-resistant form offers 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

Easy to grow in full sun to light shade. Tolerates wide range of soils, including dry ones, but prefers moist, sandy or clay soils. Leave foliage in place for winter interest and to provide homes for over-wintering critters. Cut back to the ground in late winter before new growth begins.


Height
6 Feet

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Spread
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 to provide ideal wildlife habitat. This kind of layout provides protective cover, quality nesting areas and open travel lanes.


"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
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Sun
Soil
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Moist
Attracts Wildlife
Mammals
Songbirds
Bloom Time
Late Summer
Summer
Habitat Collection
Songbird
Wet Sun
Native Habitat
Grassland
Foliage Color
Blue
Uses
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
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming