Previous Plant Next Plant

Panicum virgatum 'Northwind'

Switchgrass /

<< PREV Image 1 of 2 NEXT >>

'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.


  • 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.

6- 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 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
  • Filtered Shade
  • Sun
  • Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
  • Average
  • Moist
Attracts Wildlife
  • Mammals
  • Songbirds
Bloom Time
  • Late Summer
  • Summer
Critter Resistance
  • Deer Resistant
Habitat Collection
  • Songbird
  • Wet Sun
Native Habitat
  • Grassland
Foliage Color
  • Blue
  • 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